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Critical Listening

The Difference Between Hearing and Listening

By Ashley Alonzo
On February 24, 2016

Photo by Ashley Alonzo

The usual issue when it comes to listening includes annoyance, confusion, frustration and impatience with the intended information not being completely delivered nor comprehended.  

Listening is often taken as a technique developed as humans grow, but students at OU and around the world might show the opposite in a new class.

Ryan Louis, current Communications adviser and professor, added the new class ”Critical Listening” to the curriculum that requires all Communication majors to take to be able to graduate. However, this class can be taken be a liberal art credit.

Most of the time communication can be taken as a performance function, such as speaking in a persuasive way in order to obtain something, which the majority of times works and brings other to do tasks they were not aware of due to a lack of listening.

Zach Martin, soccer player, and Bennett Hall RA believes that listening is as important as reading because it takes part in a person’s everyday life.

“As the way to receive information, to later process it, is how I understand the significance of listening. Without listening we wouldn’t be able to get things done during the day,” Martin said.

Hollis Mitchell is a student/athlete who believes listening is important to get other's point of view and learn new things; however Mitchell argues that the importance of a listening depends on whether the information is relevant to know or not.

“Teaching listening in college is not a class students would take seriously, and therefore it seems like a pointless class,” said Mitchell, who specifies that listening is an aspect that can’t be taught.

During Louis’ class, he explains six aspects that are discussed as the bases of listening: hearing, understanding, remembering, interpreting, Eevaluating and responding.

Kayla-Ann Saucedo, a second-year student, visualizes listening with the attributes of only understanding and responding because one must listen in order to respond in a clear manner.

Nonetheless, Louis explains that listening evokes a relationship between people, and therefore he expects, and encourages students that are currently enrolled and will enroll in this class, to acknowledge, identify and recognize the different ways of listening and its relevance.

“Come in with an open mind. Everyone thinks that they know how to listen, so this class enforces students to come to terms that maybe they aren’t the greatest listeners. I’m lots older than these students, and I am learning things. I’ve gotten degrees out of it, but there is always something left to learn, so if a teacher can say ‘I’ve got a lot to learn,’ students should be able to say that too,” Louis said.

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