Research has shown that bad acoustics in a classroom can negatively affect children with and without hearing loss. Poor acoustics can be caused by the actual classroom, hallway noise or noises from outside the building like nearby traffic. It has been found that one in six words in the average first grade classroom is misunderstood due to noisy distractions. Poor acoustics in the classroom affects how children understand speech, can delay reading and spelling skill, change behavior and concentration ability of the student and can lead to lack of attention.
There are various ways to help improve classroom acoustics for the students. This includes; optimizing visual cues and visual components to lessons, getting student’s attention prior to speaking, reviewing key points and modifying the classroom. Adding sound absorption quality to the room (via the ceiling, walls or floors) can greatly reduce classroom noise. Some simple steps are adding a carpet over hard floors to dampen sound, using felt or rubber caps on chair and table legs can also help. Students needing further assistance may benefit from preferential seating or an FM system in the classroom. For more information, go to https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/classroom-acoustics/.