Improvement of Listening Environments and Listening Skills through Assistive Listening Device for Hearing-Impaired Children
Speaking can be defined as meaningful voice patterns produced through regular processing of speech organs. Listening, on the other hand, can be defined as recognizing voices coming from the environment, and assigning meaning to them.
Speaking is one of the most used ways of communication. This communication mode can be acquired easily through rich speaking experiences, and through listening to the sounds coming from the environment. Beginning with the birth, babies perceive the sounds from the environment, and discriminate speech sounds. However, in order to acquire complicated speech sounds and grammar rules efficiently, they need to develop their listening skills as well. Effective acquisition of listening skills has a crucial role in children’s education life. It facilitates confronting with addressed questions and experiencing a better academic and intellectual development process. The brain part responsible for listening comprehension goes on developing till the age of 15. In order to reach an advanced level of development in this process, children need to be exposed to abundant acoustic input in audibly convenient environments.
Today’s technology have provided ear-aids and listening tools which help hearing impaired children acquire their native language like hearing children. These tools have been developed through using the residual hearing appropriately and exposing hearing impaired to appropriate instructional experiences. However, in order for both hearing and hearing impaired children to acquire the language, they should be supported with appropriate listening and speaking experiences, where appropriate assistive listening devices are used.
In the current study, the contribution of listening skills to language acquisition, and importance of these skills on attaining knowledge will be discussed. Then, instructional activities that could facilitate developing hearing impaired children’s speaking skills will be mentioned. A specific reference to ideal listening environments and assistive listening devices for hearing impaired children will be made as well.
Keywords: Education of the Hearing Impaired, Speaking, Listening Comprehension, Hearing Aids
Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Cem Girgin
Assistant Professor, School for the Handicapped, Anadolu University