Attention and Listening
Background Information on Attention and Listening
Attention is the ability to concentrate mentally and observe carefully. Listening refers to applying oneself to hearing something. One must pay attention in order to listen effectively, but attending is also important when doing other tasks like reading, writing, taking tests, and reviewing information.
The quality and quantity of attention is vital to the learning process. The process of attending influences the ability of the student to move new information from sensory memory to short-term memory. One must maintain attention through rehearsal in order for information to be moved into short-term memory. Attention and listening are intricately linked to Encoding and Retrieval and Memory. Refer to those web pages in the General-Purpose Learning Strategies Main Stack for additional relevant information.
The following information is provided below as background to attention and listening.
Purposes of Attention and Listening Strategies
The primary purpose of attention strategies is to provide a non-medication alternative to improving concentration and attending.
The strategies for improving attending and listening may be applied in a number of academic situations, such as:
Advantages of Attention and Listening Strategies
Attention strategies are helpful in a number of respects.
Academically, improved attending skills can positively impact a student's performance in note taking, class participation, reading, following directions, completion of assignments, group learning, exam preparation, and exam taking. Students with selective attention or ADD have an impaired learning process. Therefore, strategies designed to aid in attending are vital to their academic success.
Socially, improved attending skills can positively affect a student's self-image and self-esteem as he/she begins to appreciate his/her strengths and weaknesses. This, in turn, may impact a student's willingness to participate in group activities, performance in group activities, sense of organization and control, and ability to behave appropriately in unstructured situations.
Specific Attention and Listening Strategies
The following strategies for improving attention and listening are described below.