Listening strategy

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Listening strategy

Special Programs Active Listening Strategies If you experience hearing loss, the following active listening strategies will enhance your communication with other people to create a more positive communicative environment than hearing aids alone can provide.

Look at the person who is speaking. Position yourself to get a full view of the face, not just a profile view.

Listening strategy

A lot of information can be obtained by watching as well as by listening. Wear your glasses when indicated. They will help you to speech read. Sit with your better ear, if one is better than the other, toward the speaker.

Reduce the distance between you and the person talking. The ideal distance is approximately three to five feet. Avoid carrying on conversations from another room. Concentrate on the thought or ideas that the speaker is expressing rather than straining to understand every word that is said.

Speech is commonly redundant and predictable. Try to be aware of the topic of conversation and environmental cues that may help you to make educated guesses. Friends can be coached to give occasional leads about the subject being discussed. They can unobtrusively say, "We are discussing the housing problem," or you might quietly ask someone in the group to tell you what they are discussing.

Become familiar with the way different people express themselves such as facial expressions, vocabulary, sentence structure, accent or dialect, etc.

Maintain an active interest in people and events. Knowledge about national and world affairs, as well as those of your community and friends, will help you to follow many discussions or conversations more readily. It is always polite to look at the person who is talking. It is better to ask questions than to continue along the wrong path.

In order to reduce frustration on both sides, it is helpful to be very specific about what you have missed so that the person does not have to repeat the whole message. You may also want to ask the person not just to repeat the information, but also to rephrase it so that words you have difficulty hearing can be replaced with words that are easier to hear.

Tell them if they are speaking too softly, too rapidly, if their hand is in front of their mouth or if background noise is preventing you from understanding. Work at listening and do not get into the habit of allowing someone else, such as your spouse or friend, to listen for you.

Remember that conversation is a two-way interaction.

Better communication through better listening

Do not monopolize it in an attempt to direct and control it. Listening takes more energy than talking. Be willing to acknowledge your hearing loss and ask for help.

Most reasonable people will be glad to help if your request is specific and if they know what to do. Inform them of the importance of speaking more slowly, making sure that they are close to and facing you, as well as using facial expressions and gestures to get the message across.

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Many people are embarrassed because they have no idea how to talk with the wearer of hearing aids. Put them at ease and assure them that natural, unexaggerated speech is easiest for you to understand.

Whenever possible, ask for specifics, such as directions or medical information, in writing. Maximize the use of lighting. Have the light behind you, not behind the speaker where it may cast a shadow.

Consider using hearing aids that have multiple microphones that provide maximum amplification for sounds originating from directly in front of you and suppressing sounds originating from behind you.

Try to reduce or eliminate interfering background noise. This includes turning down or off the television, radio, running water or fan while conversing.

Listening strategy

In a social setting or restaurant, you may want to find a quieter corner away from the noise for your conversations. If you are in a room with an open door or window facing a noisy or busy area, close it. It also is helpful to keep the car window closed or lower the volume of the hearing aid that is closest to the window.

Most hearing aids adjust to noise automatically. If needed, consider improving the acoustics of a room frequently used for conversation.Video created by Arizona State University for the course "Teach English Now!

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