The Dragonfly Story

Listening Skills Development

Children with recurrent conductive hearing loss find it hard to listen to those around them. In many cases a child having difficulty hearing makes them so tired that they give up trying, or may demonstrate unacceptable behaviour. In some cases children with a history of conductive hearing loss may develop their own coping strategies to compensate for their inability to hear clearly, these may include:

  • Watching others for visual cues
  • Copying other children
  • Learning to lip-read; or
  • Non-verbal clues

While these coping strategies may assist the child to get by in some situations, they may also mask the degree of emotional, educational and physical problems the child is experiencing. As a consequence it is essential that we expose children with conductive hearing loss to a variety of activities that will develop their listening skills, some of the more popular activities include:

 Teachers should also adopt a method teaching strategy explaining to children with conductive hearing loss what the listening behaviour is, the importance of looking and focusing on the person talking.

While many of these of strategies might appear obvious, research carried out by Anne Lowell and her colleagues (1995)7 highlights the need for teachers to be aware that listening may differ for different activities and across different cultural groups. As a consequence it is important the teacher of Indigenous children are aware of these cultural differences and applies appropriate strategies to develop the listening skills of these children.

Lowell, A., Budukulaway, Gurimangu, Maypilama, & Nyomba. (1995). Communication and learning in an Aboriginal school: The influence of conductive hearing loss. The Aboriginal Child at School, 23(4), 1 – 7.