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Hood, Ida.

Vancouver, Watts, R.J., & Associates, c1983. 88pp, paper, $6.95, ISBN 0-920072-12-7. Distributed by Watts, R.J., & Associates, 4010 Bayridge Cres., West Vancouver, B.C., V7V 3K4. CIP

Grades 4-9
Reviewed by Robert W. Bruinsma

Volume 13 Number 5
1985 September

Research has consistently shown that pupils spend more time in listening than in any other language arts activity. Yet it is, I believe, fair to say that there is in most schools, a serious lack of programs that develop listening skills. Perhaps, because hearing and talking seem to be naturally acquired skills as compared with reading and writing, it is assumed that the school has no need to concern itself with the development of the former. As Ida Hood makes clear, hearing is to listening what word calling is to reading; the essential difference between these skills is that the latter require conscious effort to derive meaning.

Hood's booklet is an extremely useful resource in helping intermediate and junior high school teachers bridge the wide chasm between hearing and listening. The booklet consists of five chapters: "Why Should Listening Skills Be Taught?," "What happens When We listen?," "Developing Basic Skills of Listening," "The Cognitive Skills of Listening," and Putting It All Together." Each chapter is introduced by a brief theoretical discussion followed by a section entitled "Experiences in Listening," which provides a wealth of practical classroom teaching ideas. Integration across content areas is stressed throughout. Each chapter concludes with a listing of additional resources, and references for further reading and study are also provided.

Is Anyone Listening? is a practical resource text. Readers wanting a more detailed scholarly treatment of the role of listening in the language arts curriculum are advised to consult more comprehensive works, e.g. Sarah Lundsteen's Listening: It's Impact on Reading and Other Language Arts (NCTE, 1979). For those already convinced of need to improve listening instruction in school classrooms, Ida Hood's booklet is an excellent source of practical lesson ideas presented within a sound theoretical framework.

Robert W. Bruinsma, The King's College, Edmonton, Alberta.
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