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Listenwise is unique in its focus on developing listening skills. Success in college and careers depends on effective communication, active listening, and understanding oral information. Listening comprehension and speaking skills help students process complex content— sometimes content with more complexity than they can read. State standards require that students be able understand diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement and establish connections based on evidence and reasoning. Students must also be able to evaluate a speaker’s point of view and the evidence presented.

13-1001-LISTENEDITION073Listening and speaking are anchor standards on the Common Core State Standards. States that participate are assessed annually in grades 3-8 and once in high school. The SBAC,* Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, assesses students using short, non-fiction audio clips where students are expected to listen, interpret and evaluate material presented orally.

How Listenwise Improves Listening Skills

Teachers who use Listenwise are seeing growth in their students’ listening outcomes.  After using Listenwise Premium for three years, Clovis North High School students listening scores increased by 26 percentage points, an increase of 15 percentage points higher than their district average (Clovis North High School Case Study). 


Listenwise curates podcasts from NPR and public radio that align to the curriculum in middle and high school. Teaching resources enhance listening instruction and students develop familiarity with questions presented on state assessments and experience listening online.

  • Range of Complexity
    • Students practice listening to nonfiction audio stories with a range of language complexity.
  • Depth of Understanding
    • Students acquire content knowledge and language skills by listening and completing assignments that require multiple levels of cognitive effort—they range from understanding specific details to analyzing purpose and reasoning.
    • Listenwise stories target a wide variety of topics across content areas giving students repeated exposure to unknown words in context and increasing their academic vocabulary.
  • Close Listening
    • Listening to a story multiple times helps students focus on different listening goals and practice their listening comprehension. These successive listens allow teachers to hone students’ understanding of language and content.
  • Stamina and Focus
    • Students build stamina and focus to increase their listening comprehension. As they are expected to master increasingly complex content, they need to develop endurance and the ability to focus without being distracted to best understand while listening.


*The PARCC determined that additional time and research is needed before fully including listening and speaking assessments. Schools have an option to administer Speaking and Listening assessments as a way to gather data in a low stakes environment.