In learning a particular language, we enhance the communicative language skills; the receptive skills and productive skills. Receptive skills include understanding through listening and reading. Productive skills are speaking and writing. When we learn English as a language and when we utilize this language as a tool for communication, we learn and make use of all these communication arts.
But normally, people become strong in some skills and weak in others. Most of the time, Listening is considered to be a weakness.
Listening is considered as a neglected art. Almost everyone can hear, but few can really listen. Many people fail to recognize the art of listening and the value of listening to acquire information. They tend to ignore the fine line that separates the distinction between the natures of passive listening and active listening. In our daily conversation with people, meetings or conferences, and formal classroom set up, listening is believed to be of paramount concern.
People tend to neglect the art of listening because of the different language barriers apart from the dominant fact that people are fond of talking rather than listening.
Few people can achieve understanding the essence of what has been said by a certain speaker because they have not mastered the skills necessary for listening. These language barriers include poor vocabulary to be able to comprehend what has been spoken about, lack of interest on the speaker or what we call non-egocentric pro-social behaviour which is essential on the part of both, the speaker and listener. Absence of focus or concentration which may be influenced by physical and even emotional barriers can hinder listening.
Close-mindedness and over-stimulation which make a person too quick to judge because of the speaker’s accent, appearance, impression and poor delivery can also be contributing factors why listening is neglected. People tend to develop more negative listening habits rather than positive listening habits which definitely hinder listening to be able to comprehend the essentials of what has been listened to. According to K Crawford, An open ear is worth much more than an open mouth, so listen! 2. Oral communication skills are a significant factor in the acquisition of facts and in the process of learning. Oral communication skills refer to speaking and listening competencies.
These are necessary to be able to participate verbally in discussions and interactions, to be able to exchange ideas and concrete information, to make clear and persuading presentations and of course to interact with a variety of audiences. These skills are utilized as we communicate with other people. These are essentials in the acquisition of facts. We learn from listening and at the same time we are able to figure out facts when we air out our thoughts and opinions through speaking. Oral communication is the ability to talk with others to give and exchange information and ideas. We acquire information when asking questions.
We give information when giving directions and we exchange messages when coordinating our work tasks with others. Explaining and persuading are essentials in the process of learning especially to us as teachers. Our students learn more and easily persuaded when things are explained well. It is said that oral skills are at the very foundation of literacy. Speaking and Listening, such as in a classroom talk, help students to learn, to reflect on what they are learning, and to communicate their knowledge and understanding. Thus, oral skills are important in the process of learning. These communication skills are significant factors in acquiring information and learning.
3. What we do is far better than what we communicate basically means that we have to walk the talk not just talk the talk. An old adage says, “Actions speak louder than words”. That is so true. Benjamin Franklin advocates, “Well done is even better than well said”. According to Arnold Glasow, “An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” These quotes elaborate the importance of the fulfilment of what has been communicated, planned, and agreed. What has been planned must be realized and executed. For instance, a lesson well planned will never be effective unless it is executed and proven. In the context of education and learning, this has something to do with the application of what has been learned and caught. As mentioned in the Domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Knowledge is more of a fundamental skill compared to Application.
Therefore, application is far better than knowledge same thing with Cognitive domain and Psychomotor domain. Learning (cognitive) would not be as effective as expected without psychomotor skills (actions).Students may acquire information and learn facts but I believe applying these acquired information and learned facts on a real life situation is even more relevant. On the context of real life situation, actions are aid to be mirror of the mind. What a person thinks is expressed when she/he speaks. The ideas have been communicated. When we communicate with people, we can only let them know what our opinions and thoughts are, we only let them understand what we say.
Persuasion has always been a question. When we communicate, we may be understood by other people but we seldom persuade their minds most especially if what we say is against or far even more opposite to what other people see from us. This explains what William Shakespeare said, “Action is Eloquence”. It is through actions where we give judgements, fulfilments and realizations to all that have been communicated. I’d like to end my response with these inspiring lines about how actions are vital in our lives. “The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs. “- Vance Havner,