OPTIMISE LEARNING :
- Minimise background noise
A mainstream classroom is a usually a busy, noisy place. Children who have any degree of hearing loss may have difficulty hearing the important information when surrounded by other noises. These noises cause a masking of the important spoken information that needs to be heard. Thus background noise should be kept to a minimum.
- Preferential seating
Place the student in a seat so that both ears are facing the desired sound source and away from the sources of noise such as windows, hallway, or playground, air conditioners or even talkative children.
A seat that is either in the first row or second row and centre is preferable. This will improve the student’s opportunity to hear and listen and to observe natural body gestures and non-verbal communication.
- During Group Discussions
When group discussions are occurring, make sure only one person is speaking at a time. This can be encouraged by making a make belief mike with a pencil and who so ever gets that mike will talk.
- Use of communication book
Use the communication notebook to jot down simple comments to the family on a daily basis. Keep your remarks simple and to the point.
Make sure that you have the attention of the child. Use either his/her name or give the listening cue like “listen class”.
It is important to understand that once teacher moves away from the child, the auditory signal is diminished. If you double the distance, the signal is reduced by 6dB.
FM AND SOUNDFIELD
Teachers need to accept the use all of the technology that is available to assist the child with the hearing loss. It can be FM system or any other wireless accessory to improve the signal to noise ratio.
Having a classmate provide friendly support can assist in making sure that the child who has a hearing loss is engaged in all the activities.
All upcoming tests, events, assignments and announcements should be written on the board or included in the weekly agenda or newsletter that can go home every week.
INCIDENTAL / OVER HEARING ABILITY
Children with hearing loss often do not overhear conversations / new vocabulary etc. Where as 90% of language learnt by normal hearing children is done through incidental learning. Thus teachers must make sure that the child with hearing loss is included in conversations and the teacher checks that the child has heard it.
Parents have good knowledge of how to support their child thus giving them the new vocabulary, themes, topics and concepts to be done in the class in advance will help the child to understand in a much better and easier way in the classroom.
In matters of discipline, the student with hearing impairment needs to be treated as much like a student with normal hearing and needs to understand the rules and regulations of the classroom.
WHEN COMMUNICATION BREAKS DOWN
- Check the battery / functioning of the device. (Inform Parents)
- Get closer and reduce background.
- Instead of repeating, ask the child,” what did you hear?”
- Rephrase the information or make it easier for the child to understand.
- Use acoustic highlighting on key words e.g “I want you to bring your English notebook.”