Five tips for teachers of students with hearing impairment

Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:47pm

So you’ve started a new term this year and you’ve discovered that one (or perhaps more) of your students has a hearing impairment or doesn't have English as their primary language. Check out five quick tips to help you make the most of your classroom.

Kids using tablets in class

Kids using tablets in class

  1. Use captions
    All students benefit from captions and especially those who are Deaf or hearing-impaired, plus those with English as a second language. To cater for these students it is important to use only captioned multimedia such as TV, online video and DVDs. Captions provide vital access to multimedia content. Media Access Australia’s CAP THAT! initiative was created to focus on the importance and use of captions in the classroom, and still provides relevant advice and downloadable resources.
  2. Make use of available technology
    Many classrooms are now equipped with technologies such as interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and soundfield amplification systems. If you have access to these technologies or anything similar, ensure that you’ve been briefed on how to best use them to complement your teaching. A simple Google search will confirm just how much choice is out there.
  3. Use visual stimulus
    Students who have a hearing impairment require visual cues/ support in their learning to assist their understanding of content. And of course, so do children who have English as a second language. Teachers can use visual stimuli such as providing lesson outlines, main points and any directions on IWB or display boards to help these students.
  4. Consider classroom arrangement
    There are always variables as to where a student who has a hearing impairment should sit in the classroom. Ensure that these students are in a position where your face (and ideally the faces of other students if they are participating in class discussion) are clearly visible, and where the sound of your voice is least obstructed.
  5. Keep unnecessary noise to a minimum
    Students who have a hearing impairment find it very difficult to concentrate when there is background noise. Blocking out some or all of this noise through closing doors or windows can be a simple and effective measure. Remember that even if your student or students use assistive hearing technology, they do not hear in the same way that their peers do. They will benefit from having unnecessary background noise to a minimum.



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