American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Teachers Are Generally Unaware Of The Effects That Poor Classroom Acoustics Have On Learning—Speech-Language Pathologists Can Help

ASHA Members Will Discuss Research And Implications During 2010 ASHA Convention In Philadelphia

Editors: First Author Available For Interviews During And After Convention

(Rockville, MD - November 15, 2010)  

Most teachers are unaware that the typical classroom may not be providing the best environment for listening and learning due to poor acoustic characteristics and that important information may be lost because a deteriorated or weak speech signal reaches the learner, according to members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) who will be presenting their findings during ASHA's Annual Convention in Philadelphia this week.

This lost information, they will explain, makes listening difficult and creates significant gaps in learning.

ASHA member Michelle Harmon and her colleagues will also show that their research indicates that most teachers neither attempt acoustic improvements in their classrooms, nor welcome an amplification system or acoustic modifications.

Harmon et al. will also argue for speech-language pathologists to consider educating teachers on the effects of poor acoustics on student learning, at-risk students, teacher vocal health, and the means for obtaining grants for amplification systems until designs for acoustical accommodations can be provided for classroom. (Additional information on classroom acoustics can be found at

These findings will be presented on Thursday, November 18, at 8:00 a.m. in Hall C at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Inventory of Teachers' Knowledge, Interest & Practices Concerning Classroom Acoustics, Session 0458, Poster Board 32).

Their presentation is part of ASHA's Annual Convention, which begins November 18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The Convention will feature 3 days of workshops, paper sessions, poster presentations, and the Keynote Session by Nancy Goodman Brinker (Founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation), plus the Annie Glenn Award, which will be given to performing artist and "New Kid on the Block" Joey McIntyre. The Convention runs through Saturday, November 20.

These important findings are one example of the research being discussed during ASHA's Annual Convention. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists, as well as other speech, language, and hearing scientists, gather every year at ASHA's Convention to share their research with their colleagues. This sharing of information results in better care for the people they serve.


About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 140,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.

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