IronMike wrote:One must not discount the visual when it comes to listening. What's the stat? Communication is 80% visual? All I know is when I do my speaking test over the phone, w/o being able to see my tester, I routinely score a 1/2 point (2 vice 2+) than I do when I can see my tester, all other things being equal.
I understand my crazy Russian show Ревизорро much better when I can see what Elena Letuchaya is doing on the screen. (I've tested this by closing my eyes during some of the show.).
Glad you pointed this out.
I can't tell you how many times I have been able to figure things out thanks to the fact that I could SEE what was happening. However, I would not neglect pure listening. Such as radio. (Sometimes people say things that require you to look, such as: "This object HERE has been a source of inspiration.") But, in general, pure listening really puts your listening skills to the test. Even if you're speaking with a live person, he/she will most often be talking about something that happened in the past, or something hypothetical, all things you can't see. People don't walk around with a television to illustrate everything they're saying.
Also, with television, you can sort of fake it. Meaning, you can see the images and sort of guess what's going on. Some see the images and get distracted. Others get a vague idea of what's going on and convince themselves that they have understood. But if you ask them to repeat what was said, or explain the specifics of the plot, they are at a loss for words.
So, I get that pure listening is more challenging, but I'm also finding that it's where I'm seeing the most satisfying gains. Also, for me at least, there's a sense of accomplishment knowing that you put an idea together on your own, without any help from images.
This is also a skill that must be develop, particularly if you have to speak with people over the phone.