A young girl uses a Book Port Plus from
'American Printing House for the Blind'
"A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he [listened], the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why aren't we like that wise old bird."
Although listening skills are not designed to replace braille reading, they are
an essential communication skill that all children need to possess. For many
individuals who read braille, listening skills will become essential when they
enter middle and high school where the academic load and reading quantity grow
Tips To Teach Listening Skills
For Kindergarten and 1st grade:
- Start out with pleasure reading books that are not chapter books. Have the
student listen to a page or 2 before stopping the tape and discussing what
happened on those pages. After you have finished the book on tape, have the
student answer comprehension questions. Use both literal and inference
- Gradually increase the amount of pages the student must listen to before you
pause the tape until the student is listening to the entire tape/CD. before the
student answers comprehension questions about the book.
- Mix up the types of book you have your student listening to. A non fiction
book about an animal or sport the student is interested in is a great way to
impart knowledge and get the student interested in listening to something that
requires more attention and concentration.
For 2nd thru 5th grade:
Here is a great place to emphasize main idea and important details especially
when you and your student listen to a nonfiction book.
- Listen to pleasure reading books that are chapter books written on a level
that is even or below the student’s current reading level. (The child’s
classroom teacher should have an idea of the student’s reading level. If they do
not, there are several reading inventories that are available to help you
determine a reading level. Jerry Johns Informal Reading Inventory is one.)
- Listen to a page or two before stopping the CD and discussing what happened on
- Gradually increase the number of pages the student needs to listen to before
you stop and discuss what happened on the pages. The child should be listening
to a chapter at a time before you stop and have them answer comprehension
questions on that chapter. (This maybe a goal that takes the student all year to
- After you have done 1 or 2 pleasure reading chapter books, you should pick a
book that is from a different genre. Non-fiction books and a book of poems are
both necessary for your student to learn to listen to.
For 6th grade thru High School:
- Begin with one of the student’s textbooks. Social Studies or Science are great
places to start.
- Listen to a paragraph before stopping and asking questions and discussing what
the student read.
- Then move on to listening to a section at a time before answering
comprehension questions at the end of each section.
Ideas for Increasing Listening Skills
- Scholastic has books with an accompanying CD that come 4 to a pack for $20.
These are located on both the website or from the book order forms that the
general education classroom teacher passes out. Take those books and make a
comprehension questionnaire with 5 to 10 questions that go along with the book.
- Gradually increase speed of listening devices such as JAWS, Victor Stream, or
Daisy player so that the student is beginning to learn to listen at a faster
- When a student asks how to spell a word, spell it and have them spell the
whole word back. If they get stuck on a word, spell the whole word again so that
they have to listen and keep up.
- Play a game where the student has to follow a single step direction then
gradually increase where the student is following complex 4 and 5 step
- Dictate a small portion of a sentence and gradually increase the amount of
information you give the student until they are writing the whole sentence from
you saying it only 1 time.
- To assess listening skills, you can use the AR and STAR reading tests in the
school system after the child has listened to the book to get a comprehension
- Have the student listen to a book on tape and then write up a short book
report about the book.
- Read short poems and talk about what words rhyme or what the poem is talking
- Recalling events in proper sequence is important skill. Use any story and have
the students retell the story using the events in the order that they happened.
For example, first, the bears went for a walk. Next, Goldilocks went into the
This article was originally posted on the BrailleSC website, which was funded by
a grant from the US Department of Education with support from the University of
South Carolina Upstate and The Maryland Institute for Technology in the
in Paths to Literacy
publicado por MJA