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 Active listening is an essential part of successful communication. It involves alertness on the part of the listener, aiming to understand the intended message as well as the content (Trevithick, 2000 as cited in Health Education & Training Institute, 2012).  Tips to practice active listening include:

  • Allow student time to articulate thoughts
  • Summarise or paraphrase to ensure understanding
  • Seek clarification if necessary
  • Ask questions or give feedback to facilitate learning



  1. The University of Adelaide has a useful resource on active listening. Active Listening Learning Guide is a 4 page document aimed at students attending lectures and tutorials. It has good examples of how to do active listening techniques and useful resources. 
  2. Kathryn Robertson (MBBS, FRACGP, MEd, is Senior Lecturer, Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne) wrote a three page article on Active Listening. The article is written for Medical Practitioners. There is a good explanation of active listening and the article identifies ‘roadblocks’ to active listening.  

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