We hear lots about the need to focus on the four element of literacy, reading, writing, speaking and listening. They are all important.
Unfortunately, they are sometimes regarded in ‘cart before the horse’ terms of importance. Reading and writing are held to be the major players in this literacy quartet. Speaking and listening, ESPECIALLY LISTENING are discounted.
Listening should be considered the first and very foundational literacy skill. Certainly it is the quality that engages babies and very small children. In terms of acquisition, listening, speaking, reading and writing develop in that order. Certainly these literacy skills are developed in what becomes a melded or blended fashion. They complement and reinforce each other.
The onus placed on reading and writing, discounting listening and speaking as happens, contributes to poor listening skills. Cognition and comprehension are both impacted. Also discounted by non-listening attitudes can be respect for the opinions of others.
Speaking cogently, politely and correctly also needs re-engagement. Sloppy speech is not a quality of which the user can be proud. What is said and HOW it is said are important quality.
Correct speech and careful listening are literacy attributes can can and do build confidence in people. They should never ever be consigned to second class status.