The significance of best of breed listening conditions for CALD Learners

October 5, 2020

While regulations in Australia continue to push towards building learning spaces that cater for the needs of children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, research supports this evolution.

The latest rules attached to the construction of new Vic State Schools states “students with English as a second language … need sound-field systems” and and similar rules in SA offer “sound
fields assist all students in learning spaces and helps to protect teacher voices particularly in contemporary open space learning environments.”

But does soundfield – or a Hear and Learn Flexmike teacher mike and Sharemike student mike with a Redcat soundfield device right through to a SoundHouse for larger areas – actually help these students?

A study has emerged out of Toronto, Canada offers that pursuant to a study of soundfield in environments with higher CALD populations:

– Consistent teacher reports on positive effects on vocal health. Less vocal fatigue and “My throat used to be very sore by Friday”.

– Change teaching practices with teachers noting a new ability to be more dramatic and effective storytellers by varying vocal intensity, intonation patterns, and sound effects. This meant when reading a story, learners could hear these subtle nuances.

– morphological markers, auxiliary verbs, and other difficult-to-hear aspects of English syntax improved with soundfield.

Study results indicate that while less empirical, important effects for all participants – over and well known benefits of soundfield – were realizable for the wider classroom community. Teachers could create not just better listening environments, but more dynamic learning environments.

Find copy of the report here