Barriers to effective listening | literacydesigncollaborative


There are various barriers to the effective listening of students according to their own responsibility or fault. One of the most common barriers in effective listening is from the students’ environment and other forms of physical barriers. Noise, temperature, lack of proportional facilities and overpopulated number of students in a classroom all contribute to environmental barriers. Another factor that may affect effective listening is the psychological noise which is similar to cognitive barriers. This simply implies the current mood of a student or his/her emotional state of mind. It is about the thoughts racing in the minds of the students that prevent them from truly listening. There are also physiological barriers that affect listening. Students may suffer different body conditions that hinder them from giving proper attention and focus in listening such as physical illness, injury and stress. There are also barriers in effective listening of the students caused by the speaker. For example, the construction of the message of the speaker is poorly structured or too vague to understand. It is where distorted listening occurs. Students will be confused and it is difficult to understand what the speaker wants to convey. When these barriers are caused by the speaker, the students will resort to pseudo listening where they just pretend to listen but their thoughts are actually somewhere else. Another barrier for a student in listening is when students show bias to the speaker. This happens when they avoid being convinced and stick to their way of thinking despite what the speaker says. When the listener shows bias to a certain speaker, the listener applies aggressive listening where they criticize the speaker’s ideas, personality, and other characteristics. When this barrier happens, the listener will result to narcissistic listening where he/she tries to make the interaction about himself/herself. He/she interrupts the speaker or changes the topic to focus the conversation on himself/herself. Educators should be conscious about these barriers to effective listening so that they can adjust their teaching style accordingly.