Active Listening

In this term, we learn about communication, one of the topics we covered in class is active listening.

A conversation requires both parties to pay attention. People often use the analogy of a ping-pong game to describe what a conversation should be like, taking turn talking. Besides from this essential point, it is also fundamental to listen to what others say. Being an active listener would show the speaker that, you are paying attention to what they are saying.

Three basic steps to becoming a better listener. *These are the steps that I especially struggle with.

Step 1: Listen to understand rather than listen to speak.

Personally, sometimes I found myself listening to find the opportunity to jump into the conversation. It is common for people to listen to find flaws, or chance so that they can talk about their own idea. However, in order to become a better communicator, we also need to be a better listener. A way to listen to understand is to mentally take notes of what the speaker said.

Step 2: Showing small gestures of understanding and verbal encouragement.

Nodding your head as a sign of agreement, if you agree with the point, would show that you are having a similar idea, this would encourage the speaker to talk more about their idea. Saying small verbal of encouragement such as “oh, I see” or “I understand” helps the speaker to understand their tone and information.

Step 3: Giving a small summary of what the speaker said.

I personally find this strategy helpful, not only that I am able to pay more attention but rather understand what the speaker said fully. This is an opportunity to check whether your interpretation of the information is correct. As well as a way to show the speaker that you’re listening.   

American History

This first term of Literacy Essential, our main focus for this class was the American History which aims to prepare students for the historical passage of the SAT exam. We read texts from a website called CommonLit such as: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death, Excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s Writing on American Indians, Causes of the American Civil War, America’s Shifting Views on Immigration, Excerpt from The Jungle, and The Great Depression. When we finished reading an article, we have to write an open response to further our understand of these historical text, as well as, work on “Vocabulary Exploration,” which is about exploring difficult words and understand how to use those words in all of theirs forms and part of speeches.

My response for the question of: Compare and contrast how Hoover and Roosevelt responded to the Great Depression according to the text. How did their actions impact this period of economic depression?

Both President Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt had both tried to end the Great Depression during their office. However, the main difference was the presidents’ judgement on the severity of the recession. Herbert Hoover “believed that the government should not directly intervene in the economy,” because he thought that just like other recessions in the past, it would run its course. So, consequently, He did not assist Americans through this tragedy. But, eventually he exercised “two laws to spur new home construction and public work programs,” but even so, those policies were too small and too late to make any significant difference.  

In contrast, Franklin Roosevelt started his office by believing that the recession is a crisis, and that it was his duty to restore the American economy to health. Thus, Franklin Roosevelt launched an impactful program called New Deals that consisted of many programs that helped to reform and recover from this economic setback. By: “bring[ing] Americans out of the Hoovervilles and put them back to work,” and ensuring that savers don’t lose their money in a bank crash; which helped to circulate the money within the country’s economy. Furthermore, the programs, Wagner Act, guaranteed basic rights for workers to have better terms and conditions at work. As a result these policies provided jobs to millions of Americans who are unskilled and unemployed, which fulfilled his pledge in his inaugural speech, that The Great Depression was a parlous situation and that America “must act and act quickly,” so that the economy will revive and will prosper.   

Example of the Vocabulary Exploration:

Jest: (noun) – a joke

  • Definition: (verb) – to say something and intend it to be funny
  • Example in the article: “…. they could now study the whole of the spoiled-meat industry on the inside, and read a new and grim meaning into that old Packingtown jest—that they use everything of the pig except the squeal. ”
  • Sentence: For those that just met him wouldn’t be able to tell that his suggestion was a jest because of his emotionless expression.
    • I found it’s frankly rude and inconsiderate when people jested about wage-gap.   
  • Different Form: In jest, Surely you jest, jester
    • In jest: (Common phrase) – not serious, as a joke
      • Everyone should have their own secret language with their friends, I personally found it’s amusing to speak in jest knowing that only my roommates understand the reference.   
    • Surely you jest: (common phrase) – surely you joking
      • Surely you jest; I don’t believe that you would just quit that competition just because you brother couldn’t join.
    • Jester: (noun) – someone whose job is to make people laugh
      • I like the original costume of Harley Quinn where she dressed up as a jester, after all she was known as a jokester-villain.