Tips to improve learning

August 12, 2016
truc astuces
Back-to-school means new teachers, places, and classmates. Students with hearing loss may experience these changes differently. Tips can be used to improve speech comprehension and start the year off right.

Teachers and school administrators should be informed that the child has hearing loss, what problems may arise in the classroom, and how to solve them.

In the classroom

To reduce background noise in class, we suggest:

  • Placing protective mats or tennis balls under chair or table legs to reduce scraping noises
  • Placing adhesive pads under desktops to reduce noise when closing desks
  • Making sure doors and windows are always closed during explanations, and the projector is off

The teacher can use various strategies to support a hearing-impaired student’s learning:

  • Discuss with the student the best place for him/her to sit. We suggest a seat in front so the child can see the teacher’s face, but a bit on the side so he/she can see who is speaking by briefly scanning the classroom (preferential seating)
  • Rephrase student’s questions and answers
  • Make sure the student has understood by asking open questions that cannot be answered by yes or no
  • Avoid turning your back or walking around when speaking to the class if possible
  • Provide a visual support when introducing new material
  • Make other students aware of hearing loss and hearing aids, and answer questions on the subject if the child is comfortable with it

If the student has hearing aids, make sure he/she always has batteries nearby. If the student is unable to change them, the parent can show the teacher how to do it.

Physical education

The parent or the student can ask the teacher to explain the rules beforehand and use visual support when possible. Children with hearing loss have more trouble understanding when new instructions are yelled out during a game in a noisy, echoing gym.

Swimming class

Careful with water! Most hearing aids are not waterproof, so it’s best to find a safe place to store them during swimming class to avoid damage or loss. After class, the student should dry his/her hair before putting the hearing aids back in.

Lastly, hearing-impaired students should be encouraged to adjust to and verbalize their difficulties, particularly as they get older.

For more advice, consult an audiologist.

Reference: Consulted May 2, 2016.