Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Active Listening

By Carla C. Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

You will need to teach your students how to be active listeners during oral classroom presentations, and so the Praxis Elementary Education exam may contain questions on this topic.

There are several considerations for the listener to keep in mind when assessing an oral presentation. To be active listeners, students should be aware of the following, writing down notes during the speech and after as it helps them:

  • Approach. Have your notepad and pen or pencil ready before the speaker begins; sit up straight, and focus your attention on the speaker. Listen carefully.
  • Opinion. Do you agree or disagree with the speaker’s thesis or opinion?
  • Summary. Make a list of the speaker’s main points.
  • Details. Be able to repeat a fact or supporting detail the speaker used.
  • Visual aids. What were they? Did they help or hinder the speech? How?
  • Reactions. How do you feel about the speech? How do others in the audience feel?
  • Tone. What tone did the speaker use? What was the effect of the tone? Did it hurt or help the speaker’s efforts?
  • Questions. What would you ask the speaker in order to clear up any uncertainties you have?

Practice question

  1. Which of the following lists best covers active listening?
    A. approaching, listening, questioning
    B. listing, annotating, reacting
    C. approaching, hearing, reacting
    D. hearing, understanding, evaluating

Answer and explanation

  1. The correct answer is Choice (D).
    It best encompasses the eight bullet points. While it doesn’t specifically say approaching, one can assume there was some kind of approach if the student is hearing. Choice (A) is wrong because questioning does not best suggest the more complete act of evaluating. Choice (B) is wrong because it covers neither careful listening nor judging. Choice (C) is wrong because it omits the judging or evaluating required.