January 24, 2011

Are Dyslexics Better Listeners?


I’m the first to admit it… I blurt out a comment, think ahead, and interrupt. It’s a bad habit that I’ve been trying to overcome my entire adult life. I really want to be a better listener and ultimately a better learner.

Listening is such a critical and necessary component of learning. Some studies suggest that students with learning disabilities, like dyslexia, compensate for poor reading performance by becoming more active listeners. Imagine how powerful it would be if students with dyslexia had the key to reading too? They would be the best communicators on the planet.  

As for me, I plan to work on these 10 Steps to Effective Listening: 

  1. Face the speaker and maintain eye contact. 
  2. Be attentive. 
  3. Keep an open mind to what you are hearing. 
  4. Try to picture what the speaker is saying. 
  5. Don't interrupt or impose your "solutions" on the speaker. 
  6. Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
  7. Try to feel and understand what the speaker is feeling. 
  8. Pay attention to what isn't said—to feelings, facial expressions, gestures, posture and other nonverbal cues. 
  9. Never interrupt the speaker… even if they drone on and on.
  10. Wait for it... discussion time is the right time to bring up your point of view.

Listening. It’s a worthy goal. What do you think?

Free Dyslexia Webinar:

“Dyslexia: From Symptoms to Solutions,” presented by Reading Horizons Dyslexia Specialist, Shantell Berrett.

View the free dyslexia webinar! ›

Learn how Reading Horizons structured literacy framework helps students with dyslexia improve their reading skills in our elementary reading program and reading intervention program.

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