This content category tests your knowledge of verbal and nonverbal communication. A teacher should be aware of things that affect communication, know how to use communication tools, and understand effective listening strategies.
So, let’s talk about a concept you need to know.
Active listening is a technique that helps students focus, process, and understand what another person is saying. There are basically five steps to active listening:
- Focus on the person who is speaking.
- Show by your tone of voice, your friendly expression, and your “body language” that you are interested and want to be helpful.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Accept the person’s feelings without judgment.
- Paraphrase or repeat what the person has said to be sure you understand.
Active listening can relate to effective questioning. In step 5, if the listener is not clear on something said, he can ask questions to clarify.
Especially when working with young students, it is helpful to practice and model active listening. Consider the following activity:
Explain that one student will talk about a topic you suggest, and the other partner will paraphrase. You will keep time.
- Divide the class into pairs. Using a topic from below, have one person talk for one minute and have his or her partner paraphrase. What is a strong feeling you’ve been having lately? If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
- Have the pairs give each other feedback. Ask the people who did the paraphrasing to tell their partners what it was like for them to do this. Did they have trouble listening? Did they have trouble remembering what they heard? How did they feel about the experience? Then have the students who did the talking say what it was like for them to have their partner listen and paraphrase.
- Switch roles and repeat.
- Discuss. Was it easy or hard to paraphrase? How did it feel to do it? When you were the speaker, what was it like to hear yourself paraphrased?
- Repeat with other topics if desired.
- Summarize. Active listening is a tool that helps people clarify their understanding of one another and is essential in solving conflicts.
And that’s some basic info about the Instructional Process content category.