Edinburgh University academics claimed that encouraging youngsters to speak out in class could be a more effective way for them to learn, reports The Scotsman.
According to education experts at the university's education faculty, Moray House, allowing secondary children more opportunity to question what they hear, enables them to process knowledge with more effect.
Studies involving teachers of English found secondary pupils who were encouraged to "listen actively", rather than passively were more likely to perform better.
Dr Pauline Sangster, of Moray House, said: "Our findings suggest that by incorporating such approaches, teachers can improve the pupils' learning experience."
The study, called Investigating Norms of Listening in Classrooms, is published in the International Journal of Listening.