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The Consequences Of Passive Listening English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1456 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Passive listening occurs when a person is fully aware of a lecture, Conversation, or something audio that is going on in his or her presence but the person does not react to it. This essay is going to attempt to explain in details the consequences of passive listening.

A passive listener does not interrupt the speaker or perform any action whatsoever at the same time in which the speaker is delivering his or her speech. In most cases, a passive listener does not nod his or her head, make appropriate facial expressions, and make eye contacts with the speaker or any other action that indicates whether a person is paying attention or not. When a person concentrates on making non-verbal cues (nodding, eye contacts and so on), then he or she is probably not paying much attention in other words, listening passively because those actions come naturally to a person who is actively listening i.e. he or she does not have to concentrate on doing them. In some cases, passive listening is associated with students in the class room. A student who is listening passively to a lecture barely pays attention to details but at the end of the lecture, the student tends to remember 10% or less of the information passed through during the lecture session. This is because although the student was not paying much attention to the details, the student will zone in and out of his or her mind at regular intervals and in the process accidentally take in some valuable information. Usually, passive listening in students is caused by a dull lecture or an interruption in which a student is attracted to for example, cell phones. It is not always the fault of the lecturer because some topics are uninteresting by nature.

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Despite all the reasons and excuses a student might have for his or her lack of interest during lectures, the consequences for this action will have to be put into consideration because it can adversely affect a person’s academic participation and result. Listening passively without checking in on a conversation to verify whether or not you have correctly received the message often leads to deviation from accuracy in communication. By merely being in a conversation without insinuating questions or active accounts that divulge the speaker’s real message, a person’s personal ideas might begin to mold about the probable implication of the message instead of the tangible meaning. An example is when an apprentice technician joins the audience in an inaugural lecture. If he listens passively, he will only superintend to get wind of the sounds, he will be unable to meaningfully identify the spoken cues, talk less of correctly interpreting what has been said. This will result in errors in the person’s solutions or answers. If a person is listening passively, then the person is not speaking. Effective communication allows both the message sender and the receiver to express themselves in an even exchange of ideas.

A passive listener positions an indirect comparison to a cobblestone, you can see it and you know it is there, but it seems incapable of absorbing anything that you are saying. The reason why passive listening is mostly associated with students is because it occurs mainly with teenagers. Passive listening requires a lot of focus because a passive listener severely focuses on what he or she is listening to but is not doing anything apart from listening meaning he or she is not absorbing any information. The strain on unmonitored focus affects a person’s ability to understand. A person can store information correctly in the brain only when both the mind and brain of the individual are relaxed. Straining the brain to listen without any interest on details therefore results in a person’s lack of understanding, wastage of time and possibly head ache or brain clogging.

Some other practitioners of passive listening techniques are those attempting to learn a foreign language the audio way that is through an mp3 player or an audio CD player. This is common because when advertising these products, the marketing team make promises of satisfying results to whoever uses them. They include attractive slogans like “learn French the easy way just by listening to this audio CD while finishing your chores”. If a person is performing a task while listening to something, then the person is listening passively. The shocking truth is that passive listening cannot get a person to fluency in a language because it ever rarely produces any good results. What is even worse is that it will not help the ability of the person to understand the language he or she is attempting to learn. It is a fact that a passive listener is unable to correctly store, interpret and recall information, this fact also applies to a language learner who is listening passively. In plain words, a language learner who is listening passively will not be able to store, interpret and recall what has been said because language learning needs some amount of focus and understanding.

In some cases, a person does not deliberately listen passively to a lecture or speech, passive listening can occur due to absent mindedness. In this situation, the source of this action is either the speaker or the listener. The speaker can be the cause of passive listening in an individual if his or her voice volume is too low and the listeners will have to strain their ears to listen. There will come a point in time when the listeners will finally give up on listening to the lecture because they are tired of straining their ears and the rest of the valuable information the speaker has to deliver will pass by the listeners ears and go to waste. There is also the case of complexity. When the speaker is using too many complex words or unnecessary issues and details, the listener tends to zone out and start to imagine all sorts of consequences for the discussion at hand and in the process missing out on some of the important key points. The listeners can also be at fault because at times, they focus on passing judgment on the speaker, topic or lecture so much that they forget the currently important speech they are supposed to be actively listening to and as a result they listen passively and miss out on the most important parts of the lecture.

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In my research I have learnt that the word ‘consequence’ means outcome. The outcome of an event can be both good and bad since everything that has an advantage has a disadvantage. Everything I have mentioned on passive listening so far has been negative but it also has its own advantages. People have a medley of reasons to listen passively by due deliberation, in other words, by choice. Passive listening by choice does not occur amongst teenagers only; it is a mode of listening adopted by a lot of people in this world since an era before now. The positive thing about the variety of people that adopt the passive listening mode is that most of them use it in their leisure hours not when they are supposed to be listening to something important. For instance, after a long day’s studying and sports, a teenage high school girl finally freshens up to go to bed. As she lay on her bed, it is possible that the sleep does not come to her eyes immediately. This is an appropriate time to adopt passive listening. The girl can play a slow music that makes her feel relaxed and comfortable to assist her exhausted mind in getting some rest and sleep. Judging from the intention behind playing the slow music, the appropriate mode of listening is passive. This is because the girl might be very well into the music but she will only listen to the soothing waves of sounds the music is producing without making an attempt to pay attention to the lyrics. Another instance is when a house wife is struggling with the daily household chores while her husband is away at work and her kids in school. She can play any type of music she sees fit while she works and she will get the job well done in no time because her attention on both the work and music will be passive. The positive results that passive listening produce here is that it will help the girl get some sleep without stressing her mind about it since she will not be paying attention, and it will help the house wife to get the job done without feeling bored and lonely.

In conclusion, the main points mentioned above is that if passive listening is adopted when listening to lectures or something important, it is considered to be a bad habit because it produces negative results. If passive listening is adopted when listening to an mp3 or radio then it is positive and even recommended.


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