Is your child a chronic daydreamer, or perhaps his teachers have given you feedback that he likes to drift off in class? Did he make many careless mistakes or did not score well in his last listening test results because he was in his own world?
With smartphones and screens often being a distraction, even an adult will find it hard to focus and listen well at times! How can you make use of these devices to help your child improve his or her listening skills? Here are 3 activities to help your child listen better.
1. Listen and know your favourite songs!
If you have a child with a short attention span, or a child who is musically inclined, get to know his or her favourite songs from Disney movies or their favourite TV shows. Try to choose songs in which singers articulate their lyrics, and not those who scream into the microphone—this means that heavy metal is a no-no.
“Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from “Frozen” (Copyrighted Disney)
A good example would be, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from Frozen. If your child finds difficulty focusing, you can show the above clip and let the child watch the “music video”. Have your child listen to the lyrics to see if they can make them out. It is all right if they do not get all the lyrics on the first try; they can listen to it again. After a while, pause at intervals and have them say to you what they think they heard. If not, have them try again.
When you have gone through a verse or so, click on the close captions button to see if you and your child have got most of the lyrics right. Alternatively, you can search for the lyrics of the song for your child to check against as you listen again.
2. Listen to the radio/podcasts and have a discussion!
A few years ago, one of the mothers I spoke to said that she would do this with her child—while ferrying her daughter to netball practice, the young mother would load up a podcast about books (or whatever both mother and daughter were interested in) and they would listen to it along the way. The mother would then ask her child questions about what they had listened to and see if she was able to recall what the broadcaster had said. In fact, you can do the same thing!
If you happen to ferry your child to school or tuition, load up a podcast or listen to the radio during the journey. After listening to the podcast, ask your child questions about what they had listened to and see if s/he has absorbed the information. There are many local podcasts out there but I recommend Wow in the World by the NPR. Both child and parent will be engaged and entertained as they discuss interesting facts and stories about science and technology.
3. Listen to e-books
Lotus & Feather read by Michelle Yeoh
Another option would be to listen to e-books. If your child has a favourite book or a series, it would be great to buy or borrow an audiobook and load it up on your mobile devices. If looking at visual stimuli is challenging, we recommend online videos on this YouTube channel, Storyline, that features celebrities reading children’s picture books.
With so much technology out there, there is always a way to make it work for you and your child. In fact, listening to different types of audio media is a great way for the both of you to bond.
What are some of the ways you learn to listen better in your daily life? Let us know in the comments!
Still worried about your child’s listening component? Sign up for our Easy Listening Course today!
Features of the Course:
1. Video Lesson + Introduction note to tackle the process of attempting the examination
2. 5 Examination style practices covering essential question types e.g. inferential, testing of main purpose etc.
3. Highlighted Answer key for each practice (7 Texts for each practice included)