Listening is the ability to attend our self to the sound messages we require the most and ignore or protect ourselves from unnecessary or unwanted messages. Listening plays a fundamental role in auditory processing and attention span, both of which are essential to the acquisition of receptive language.
Listening is important to enjoy in general conversation in a natural setting. It is important to comprehend ideas and purposes of a second person. Listening to language involves hearing the words, attending to them and thinking about them. Children need to be able to listen to and recognize the sounds that make up words and sentences so that they can learn to understand and use words and sentences themselves.
Difficulties with attention and learning have an effect on all areas of learning, if a child is not able to listen and attend they will be unable to process information they are given. Child appears ignoring people, can’t sit still, may talk when should be listening, can only concentrate on one thing, easily distracted etc.
Listening and attention are inter-related. Children have to learn to focus their attention on to different things. This usually starts with good listening skills. Children need to be able to attend and concentrate so that they can initially listen and learn new skills, including how to communicate.