Helping all children become happy learners

SoundField Systems

Why are soundfield systems fitted in classrooms?

Soundfield systems are often fitted in classrooms to support children with hearing impairments but once installed teachers often recognise the benefits for all pupils as well as themselves:

Reduced Voice Strain

Talking at a calm conversational level is much less stressful than being required to constantly project the voice.

Supports Glue Ear

Nearly all young children will suffer with some intermittent hearing loss at some stage and will struggle to hear above the average background noise levels. For more information see article on Glue Ear.

Phonological Awareness

The sound structure (phonology) of each word is more clearly heard benefitting all children but particularly those with language and literacy difficulties. Children taught in classrooms with soundfield systems will generally have fewer phonological gaps than in similar classrooms without one fitted.

Improved listening

Improved clarity of speech delivered through the soundfield makes it easier for all students across the classroom to hear. Students are more able to follow instructions and understand concepts being explained.

Calmer Environment

As the speaker does not need to raise their voice to be heard there is a calming effect on the children. This is because children will perceive a raised voice as a threat and this creates a raised level of anxiety even though the children may be not aware of this. The soundfield system enables the teacher to use a calm voice which reduces anxiety within the class and is particularly beneficial for sensory sensitive children.

Improved classroom behaviour

Teachers often report that a soundfield system improves classroom behaviour management. One reason is that pupils hear instructions better, are therefore more able to understand what is expected of them during a task and thus have less need to engage in task avoidance behaviours. This reduces low level disruption in the class. Because of the even sound across the classroom there is no difference as the teacher moves around the room and this have a powerful behaviour management effect. When the teacher is working with a group they can switch the microphone on to talk quickly but calmly to the whole class without disrupting the learning e.g. giving time reminders or reinforcing expectations for task.

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