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Kinds of listening

In real-life communication a situation and purpose a listener puts forward determine the process of receiving and decoding verbal information. These facts taken into consideration allowed L.Yu. Kulish(1976) to distinguish between 3 basic kinds of real-life listening comprehension.

The kinds according 1) listening for extracting specific information;

to the purpose of 2) listening for getting the general picture;

listening are: 3) listening for extracting detailed information.

The classification is based on the criterion of the final goal achieved as a result of action. The mentioned above kinds of listening can be global and globally detailed according to the technique of processing verbal information.

1) Listening for extracting specific information is aimed at finding out certain pieces of information a listener needs. This kind of listening can be used at the lessons, in labour activity and personal interchange. Performing this kind of listening a listener is actively involved in listening activity. He listens with strained attention. He voluntary tries to memorise the needed facts. The perceived information is usually received in a conversation. The flow of words in a natural conversation is of an irreversible character. However, questioning for clarification is possible. It can be done according to the rules of polite verbal behaviour. The extracted information is not transmitted as a rule.

2) Listening for getting the general picture can be cognitive, entertaining and cognitive-entertaining by its character. The process of listening involves the listener’s attention without a particular strain. He memorises what is being said involuntarily. Though the listener is not aimed at keeping the perceived information in store, nevertheless, he might store it up in his long-term memory. It can be done because of emotional character of presentation. Another factor affecting involuntary memorising can be entertaining, interesting or useful character of the content of the perceived information. Such pieces of information are received in the course of listening to talks, reports, lectures and conversations.

3) Listening for extracting detailed information can be considered as listening for professional purposes. It requires direct and complete understanding and memorising verbal information meant for immediate reproduction or, in rarer cases, for postponed reproduction. This kind of listening usually requires taking notes, using some system of stenography or shorthand writing. Listening for extracting detailed information requires a maximum effort of the listener’s mental and physical ability. The listener’s memorising is voluntary. His attention is fully strained. In case of immediate reproduction the listener’s operative memory functions. In case of postponed reproduction his long-term memory is in function. The so-called professional listening is characteristic of interpreters, scientific workers, journalists and reporters.