Announcement

Collapse

Disclaimer - Read This First

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about medical and educational conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

The educational and medical information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Cheryl Swope, M.Ed. and Memoria Press make no representations or warranties in relation to the information on this website.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or individualized advice from any other professional healthcare or educational provider. If you think you or your child may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention.

You should never delay seeking medical or educational advice, disregard medical or educational advice, or discontinue medical or educational treatment because of any information on this website.
See more
See less

Listening Comprehension Deficit - And it's a family trait

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Listening Comprehension Deficit - And it's a family trait

    It's been an interesting, challenging, rewarding, and enlightening couple of weeks. I am having my 2nd grader complete ITBS Form A for the Language and Math portions. Last week involved pre-testing, and I had a lot of ground to cover to get both of my kids (one of whom is NT), to understand the "ins and outs" of standardized testing, the biggest being, you can't just go bubble crazy. This week is the real thing.

    So far, my 2nd grader, who has always had challenges in language, has astounded me. (Brief summary: He has had to memorize his way through the English Language - it doesn't come naturally. It's like memorizing a foreign language, using all of the same tactics to memorize a secondary language. His "primary" language is his ability to read). All of the visual components of the test, even the parts with some listening direction and no written questions (like change the letters "st" to "sw" and select the new word), he did beautifully. All of these areas are nearly perfect on his test: Spelling, Word usage, Reading Comprehension (That is a huge win!), Capitalization, Punctuation, Vocabulary.... I'm so so proud. He truly has 90% of this correct. I have followed the guidelines for this test to the letter.

    There is one section of the test though that he literally missed all 30 something problems: Listening comprehension. This section required that I read about 5-6 sentences that had a lot of detail in them, and then ask him a question. I was only allowed to read through the passage 1 time. The answers were selected from 3 pictures - no words. The trick though, was that these questions usually wanted you to retain something said in the 2nd or 3rd sentence, and hold onto that information while being give several other big pieces of information so that you can answer the question at the very end. It might give detailed instructions about directions to the store and the kid selects a map that shows the many turns that are required using that map (so you have 3 map pictures with 3 possible routes). It might give instructions about how someone created an art project or decorated a room, and the student should remember all of the components of every single sentence to be able the answer that question with the picture of the final product.

    The realization that amazed me was this: After I had read each and every passage and moved to the big question at the end, it dawned on me that I,myelf, had NO CLUE what the answer was either - not without looking back at the passage. My own brain didn't keep "all" of the information, even as I was reading it. It's as if there were too many details to create a good picture. It's not that I didn't "understand" the passage, or that I didn't understand the question. I just couldn't recall the early details enough on a 1st listen/read at all. If there were 4 steps, and the question needed me to remember the 1st or 2nd steps, they were gone. Just gone. If I were being tested for this, there's no way I could have done it without scribbling notes about each sentence as they were given. Contrast this with my NT 1st grader who had a very similar portion of the test - he answered 85% of them right!

    I've always known I was a visual learner. I've always known that if someone were to give me directions, I had to scribble the steps down, even in a messy shorthand. I may never need to even look at that scribble again, but the very act of writing the steps down in some format would be the difference between keeping the information or losing it ALL entirely. I am absolutely incapable of retaining more than a few steps in audible format - and even then I might be looking for a visual component to apply (like a landmark). I called my sister, who is so much like me, and I kind of did a similar verbal test with her. She couldn't either. Her son is severely autistic, and she explained that he couldn't keep stepped instructions either. My brother couldn't. I even dug up my own 1-12th grade SAT scoring (I actually still have it) and it showed I had poor listening comprehension and vocabulary from 1st grade onward, compared to my other subjects. At some point, they drop listening comprehension from the test the higher the grade you go.

    Interestingly, I do enjoy some Audible books, but only if there is a very talented narrator. it's not that I can't listen to a lecture or hear a long story and get something out of it. In fact, the more information, the better I do. I know that seems counterintuitive, but if there are several paragraphs or a story, (not just a few short sentences with a lot of information) I can answer several questions about it.

    And so could my son! The last portion of this listening comprehension section required just that. I had to read 3-4 paragraphs and then he had to answer 4 different questions about it. This was the ONLY example, and it came at the end of the test. The previous 30 questions were the 5-6 sentence, question with picture answer format. This last portion is the only part he answered mostly correct. And so could I.

    What this really reinforced for me is this: when teaching, I MUST show him some visual component for him to keep up with me. That might be an outline, or even random words as I'm speaking being written on the whiteboard. If I don't provide him with some kind of visual landmark or framework, it's just not retained. Were I in his shoes, and apparently I've always been in those shoes, I couldn't do it either. As his handwriting improves, he is going to have to learn note taking, as soon as possible. I think Intro to Composition is really going to help with that.

    I have zero doubt he's going to score incredibly well on this test. I'm truly impressed that a kid with his severe language challenges could do so well. I had no idea his vocabulary extended as far as it did - many of these words we've never explicitly covered. Some of the vocabulary required that the kid infer from a picture what the best vocabulary word would be and I thought this would be a major road block. Nope. He just blazed right through it. I think that the folks at MP can take a bow here - your literature rich program is what is driving these successes. Bravo!

    cherylswope The human mind amazes me. If one area is road-blocked, there may be half a dozen workarounds. Where a real limitation exists, other amazing strengths rise up. I want to give a shout out to Cheryl because she truly inspires me to keep on striving, but more than that - Cheryl, your daughter is my hero. Her story, her poems, and her perspectives have enriched me and my ability to see past the road-blocks and she has directly impacted the future of one little boy and his Mama. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, "If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants". That's how I think of her. She's an educational giant, helping us all see farther than we ever could on our own.

    Have a great day everyone - and God Bless!
    Melissa

    DS (MP3) - 9
    DS (MP2) - 7/8
    DS (K) - 6
    DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

    #2
    Fascinating! Thank you, Melissa.

    Comment


      #3
      That's so interesting; thanks for sharing! My son in SC has a lot of trouble with this because he has auditory processing issues. His auditory processing was so low that it held him back in reading for a long time (he could sound out words, but he couldn't process what he heard himself say). Sound Therapy helped him a lot! He still primarily learns visually (and I suspect that he always will), but he's improved a lot and continues to improve (the exercise you describe is one that he does in ST). I am just like you and so is one of my bio children (my younger 3 were adopted). We can learn anything from reading or watching...but listening, not so much ;-) For me to remember names, people need to be wearing name tags or I need to visualize the name in my head. Ironically, my middle child is a strong visual learner despite being visually impaired. So, out of 5, 3 are strong visual learners. My other two are much more auditory. It's so interesting how differently we are all wired!

      I have a standardized testing funny. My adult child that has always been super advanced (he's halfway to his BS in Math with a 4.0 GPA and never studies) is a TERRIBLE speller (truly abysmal). Despite being perhaps the worst speller I've every met, he always managed a perfect or near perfect score on the spelling section of his standardized testing. That was always a reality check for me on the limitations of standardized testing, LOL.
      Cheryl, mom to:

      ds 24, graduated
      ds 23, graduated
      dd 15, 9th Grade
      dd 12, 6th Grade
      ds 10, 4nd Grade

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Cheryl in CA View Post

        I have a standardized testing funny. My adult child that has always been super advanced (he's halfway to his BS in Math with a 4.0 GPA and never studies) is a TERRIBLE speller (truly abysmal). Despite being perhaps the worst speller I've every met, he always managed a perfect or near perfect score on the spelling section of his standardized testing. That was always a reality check for me on the limitations of standardized testing, LOL.
        I wonder if that is something to do with recognizing when something just "looks" wrong - going back to that visual issue - rather than the ability to generate what looks right? Think about the Mona Lisa. You didn't paint it, you can't perfectly paint it, but if you see a mirror image of it, you can recognize it is flat wrong. It's like the brain turns all words into sight words, regardless of what phonetic rules we learned. Add to that, it often feels like spelling doesn't behave by it's own rules - probably due to the many origins of language that fed into English. Maybe mis-spelled words are more black and white to a truly visual learner - like the picture of the word is a pass/fail to the brain. They may not even know why it is misspelled, or how to fix it - only that it doesn't match its "picture". Totally agree about the standardized testing limitation - if we were to truly get a "spelling" score, it would require that we not only identify what is wrong, but then go a step farther and make us spell it correctly.

        I'm still horror struck that "I" can actually fail both a 1st and 2nd grade listening comprehension test and my 7 year old could run circles around me. He takes after his Daddy!
        Last edited by MBentley; 06-04-2019, 03:11 PM.
        Melissa

        DS (MP3) - 9
        DS (MP2) - 7/8
        DS (K) - 6
        DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MBentley View Post

          I wonder if that is something to do with recognizing when something just "looks" wrong - going back to that visual issue - rather than the ability to generate what looks right? Think about the Mona Lisa. You didn't paint it, you can't perfectly paint it, but if you see a mirror image of it, you can recognize it is flat wrong. It's like the brain turns all words into sight words, regardless of what phonetic rules we learned. Add to that, it often feels like spelling doesn't behave by it's own rules - probably due to the many origins of language that fed into English. Maybe mis-spelled words are more black and white to a truly visual learner - like the picture of the word is a pass/fail to the brain. They may not even know why it is misspelled, or how to fix it - only that it doesn't match its "picture". Totally agree about the standardized testing limitation - if we were to truly get a "spelling" score, it would require that we not only identify what is wrong, but then go a step farther and make us spell it correctly.
          Absolutely! He has superb critical thinking skills and was able to identify which word was right or wrong (depending on which they were being asked to identify). It was pretty hilarious.
          Cheryl, mom to:

          ds 24, graduated
          ds 23, graduated
          dd 15, 9th Grade
          dd 12, 6th Grade
          ds 10, 4nd Grade

          Comment


            #6
            What you describe is very common to children with ADD and ADHD. I got my eldest's hearing checked because I thought she had an impairment. Then, I got her auditory processing checked, and she scored in either the 75th or 85th percentile (I don't have the stats in front of me, but still, she scored better than at least 3/4 of her peers). That missing executive functioning piece can be quite profound. Before we went through that listening portion, I asked her to create a visual diagram of what she was hearing. You can also practice those kinds of listening stories at mealtime or in the car. It's a fun way to stretch their memory and listen for obscure details and hold them for a bit. My understanding, though, is that much of that just comes with time, medicine, or it will always be a weak area.
            Mama to 2, Married 17 years

            SY 19/20
            DD 8-3A
            DS 5-SC C

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by enbateau View Post
              My understanding, though, is that much of that just comes with time, medicine, or it will always be a weak area.
              I think you are right on all three.

              But that...could also be a good thing? Maybe? Knowing where you are weak is one thing. But what if that's just the wrong focus altogether for therapies? What if knowing where you are "weak" compared to the average isn't as helpful as knowing where the strength is? If you know your strength, does it make sense to double down on that area, allowing the other weaker portions to grow "as they can" but not expecting much from them? What do I mean? Let's take the brain portion away and take it back to the body as a whole. I LOVE metaphors, so here we go.

              If you think of the body as a whole unit, then training gains in one area will naturally result in a few minor gains in others, even if that wasn't the target. If you were to focus on your strengths, your gains would improve quickly and dramatically and also, supplementally, you would probably find that some aspect of those weak areas went along for the ride and improved as well, even if it's only a tiny bit. If you go the other way, and target some weak aspect of an individual body, you will truthfully be able to make some improvements on those weak areas with a great deal of time and with focused and constant attention. I can't help but wonder if that same level of dedication and focus on the strong area wouldn't have caused those very same modest gains in weaker areas to happen anyways.

              Of course, take this back to education. There are good reasons to set a student on the path of the weakest R, rather than the strongest - good, solid, valid, and tested reasons! But I'm not sure this kind of learning falls under the same category as strengths or weaknesses in the sensory framework of the person. Everything from how the brain processes sound, vision, taste, tactile learning...none of those have a direct relationship with the actual knowledge itself- only the method of knowledge acquisition. Going to a highway scenario, these sensory mechanisms are the roadways into the brain. The roads themselves don't choose the cars, the drivers, or the cargo. Some of the roads are bumpy with potholes. Some are slick as the Audubon Highway. There may even be roads with flat out "road closure" signs.

              I know it's a good thing to try to improve our weak areas. I'm not saying that we shouldn't. I am saying that the human brain loves the win. It loves the triumph. It loves knowing that it can accomplish something amazing. You may have two sensory extremes, a slick highway and a bumpy dirt road, both of which are necessary to get to a destination (acquire knowledge) . We love that highway though. Even if given the silly theoretical choice of downgrading our highway to a residential road and upgrading our bumpy dirt road to a paved one - where all sensors are "average" - I wonder how many would choose to give up the highway. If we've learned how to maximize the efficiency of that amazing highway, will the bumpy road bother us as much?

              I do love a good metaphor.
              Melissa

              DS (MP3) - 9
              DS (MP2) - 7/8
              DS (K) - 6
              DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

              Comment

              Working...
              X