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Definition of Listening skill

 Definition of Listening skill.

In Indonesia, English as a foreign language has been learned at school, from elementary school until senior high school. It has four skills that have to be mastered by students. These skills are reading, listening, writing, and speaking. From these skills, listening is a skill that felt difficult to be mastered, because it needs more attention and concentration to comprehend the sounds (listening material). In the learning process, one of the important parts in creating and understanding the language is listening mastery. People can not express their opinion and ideas in English without listening.

Listening skill is activity to identify and understand what others are saying. Brown (2001:247) mention that the importance of listening in language learning can hardly be overestimated. Through reception, we internalize linguistic information without which we could not produce language. In classroom, students always do more listening than speaking.

Listening skill can be meant as ability to pay attention or to hear something. However listening is not same as hearing. Hearing is essentially an automatic, passive activity. It is possible to hear sounds without consciously engaging in the process. While, in listening the brain doesn’t automatically translate the words into the message they are conveying. That is essentially what listening is determining the meaning and the message of the sounds or words. It is active process that involves much more than assigning labels to sounds or words.

So, we can say that listening is the ability to identify and understand what others are saying. It is also a complex activity, and we can help students comprehend what they hear by activating their prior knowledge. Furthermore, it will consider another way teachers can help ease the difficulty of listening by training students in different types of listening. Students must be able to use a lot of their listening ability, if they want to be successful in learning. Listening is an important element in language besides pronunciation and grammar. We can’t not express ideas in English without it.

Listening is always assumed as a passive skill like reading. Which means that students receive all the information they gain from listening materials without further activity of producing something either in written or spoken form. Buck (2001:31) stated that” listening comprehension is an active process of constructing meaning, and that this done by applying knowledge to the incoming sound”. He also stated that “listening comprehension is a process that is very complex process, and if we want measure it, we must first understand how that process works”. Listening is important in the language classroom because it provides input for the learner, because of listening is fundamental of speaking skill.

Based on the statement above, it can be said that listening comprehension is one of the language skills that are frequently used in everyday life. We spend our time mostly for listening for our teacher, friends, family, lectures, radio, music, movie, television and others. In order to communicate effectively we have to be able to hear what the other person is speaking.


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