Auditory Attention is the ability to attend (listen) to information presented aurally. This is an important skill that would enhance effective learning when improved.
Some behaviour manifestations that are observed in children with weak auditory attention is the inability to stay focused in class and follow auditory instructions/directions.
While these behaviours may be seen as signs of disinterest, it is more often than not, due to inadequate auditory attention skills. When auditory attention skills are weak, children are unable to retain and store what is heard into their long-term memory. When that happens, learning becomes ineffective and children would lose interest in learning.
Interestingly, auditory attention and reading are related. Research shows that during silent reading, or reading of direct speech statements (“Where are you!” Tom shouted), voice-selective areas in the right auditory cortex are activated. Similarly, auditory attention is needed to answer multiple-choice questions. For children with weak auditory attention skills, they would have to reread the options and questions repeatedly because they would have forgotten by the time they finish reading to the end.
Now, try asking yourself a mental sum. You would realize that you need to say the numbers to yourself and pay attention to what is said in order to do the sum mentally. This shows that auditory attention is also related to basic arithmetic applications.
Another academic area that requires this skill is none other than Listening Comprehension.
Interesting Facts: Children who can multitask seem more capable than those who don’t? Research showed that that is not true. It is found that children perform better when attending to one channel than when attending to two channels.
Auditory attention contributes to our lexical (relating to words or vocabulary) development, language acquisition and information processing.
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