Of all the skills students can learn throughout their academic career, active listening may be the most important. This is because a person who is good at listening can have numerous advantages like being a great speaker, an efficient worker, and having excellent communication skills.
So, how does it apply in academics? Active listening in your classes and lectures in school can have immense benefits for you as a student. From scoring high in assignments like student essay writing to performing better in exams, active listening may be the key to getting the most out of your classes.
This is why in this blog I dug deep to find out exactly how active listening can help you as a student and spearhead you towards academic excellence.
What is active listening?
According to the Center for Creative Leadership, active listening is listening attentively to your speaker, understanding what they are trying to say, reflecting on what they are saying, and finally, effectively retaining that information for later use.
Listening can be one of the most critical skills that we have. How well we listen to others around us can have a major impact on our academic performance, especially when students have to sit for several lectures and classes. Professors teach critical subject matter in these lectures and thus, it helps if you can concentrate on what’s being said, and retain that information to apply it in your assignments and exams later.
Thus, the best way students can improve their listening skills is through active listening. This is where students can make a conscious effort to understand what’s being said to them. More often than not, when someone speaks to us most of us can only hear the words that are being said to us. This is because we are not actually concentrating on what’s being said and thus cannot get the underlying message beneath those words.
However, when you practice active listening, you can understand the complete message that is being told to you. And as a student, this skill can come in useful to you when you are listening to your professor teach about a specific subject or topic in a lecture. Thus, active listening can boost your performance in lectures to a great extent.
How can active listening boost your performance in lectures?
Active listening means listening with all your senses. You have to fully concentrate on what’s being said to you, rather than passively hearing the speaker.
This skill can have several benefits for you as a student when you are trying to get the most out of your academic lectures. Some of the most critical benefits of active listening in lectures are given below.
- Increased awareness
When you are practicing active listening in your lectures, you can have increased awareness of what your teacher is trying to convey. You will not have any issues in understanding the subject, topic, or even specialization, and will be aware of the specific parts your teacher is discussing. Thus, you can have a greater interest in what is being said in class, which brings us to our next point.
- Increased interest
Do you always find your class lectures boring? Well, active listening may be the solution! When you just hear your professor speak you are not understanding what they are trying to mean. However, when you practice active listening, you can get the meaning behind their words. Thus, you will find yourself more absorbed in your lectures, which leads to improved interest in your subjects.
- Understand critical concepts
Active listening can help you understand critical concepts in your subject. When your professor explains those concepts in lectures, you can immediately retain that information and understand what they are trying to teach. This makes it easy for you to work with difficult concepts in your subject.
- More productivity
One of the most useful benefits of active listening is it helps you become more productive as a student. For example, when you can understand the instructions for writing an assignment clearly you can write that assignment more efficiently. Thus, when you listen to instructions in class more keenly, you can get more productive and get your tasks done perfectly.
- Mindful thinking
Active listening can promote mindful thinking in students. Mindful thinking is shown to reduce depression and anxiety in students. Thus, it can aid students to build stronger relationships with their professors and teachers in class. Students will be more open to having conversations with their instructors, and can also build healthy relationships with their peers.
- Improves language
Active listening can improve your language skills and your vocabulary. When you start to listen with your full concentration, you tend to pick up new words and languages. You also pay attention to the way people speak in different accents and also learn a lot about their cultures. Thus, active listening can have a profound impact on the way you write your assignments and also communicate to others.
As you can see active listening is a critical skill that all students should try to inculcate. Not only does it lead to better performance in class, but it also enables you to write better assignments. Thus, if you feel like you have been lagging in your academics, it might be the time to try active listening. The benefits of it are endless, that is guaranteed!
James Lee is a professor of Social Sciences at a reputed university in the UK. He is also associated with MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk and also provides assignment help to students. Furthermore, he is an avid blogger and many of his famous posts have been published across leading blogging platforms.