Be a Polyglot on Back to School Night

An increasing number of schools are dealing with at least one other language spoken by their increasingly diverse student bodies. While dedicated staff can sometimes be used within a single classroom for individual students, how can the school’s administration address all parents on “Back to School” night for instance?

One solution is the wireless Classroom Learning System. Often used in classes and libraries to transmit audio from any audio source to its color-coded headphones, the system is popular with staff and students during story time and other reading or language learning activities since it can validate and nurture student independence by allowing them to sit and listen wherever they choose. The system works through its transmitter, which is normally connected to any audio source such as a computer, MP3 player, or a boombox (like the recently upgraded Spirit™, Performer Plus™, or any of the Music Maker™ series.)

“Using the wireless headphones allows my students to be at their desks or be in the library area with pillows, while listening and relaxing.”

CLS used in a library

Can be used for group translation and independent reading.

In addition to the audio input, the transmitter also has a built-in ¼” jack to connect a wired microphone. For Back to School night, a translator would speak into the microphone and that message then goes out simultaneously to the Spanish speaking parents (for example) in the auditorium who are wearing the wireless system’s headphones while the rest of the audience listens to the Principal’s message in English. During the daytime, a teacher would use the same mic feature to give instructions only to students who are listening to a recorded story with the CLS, while not disrupting the rest of the class.

Both teachers and students seem to appreciate the inherent flexibility of wireless delivery. “Using the wireless headphones allows my students to be at their desks or be in the library area with pillows, while listening and relaxing,” shared Andrea Crawford, a 2nd grade teacher for St. Marks Episcopal School who has been using the CLS system for years.

If you like the idea of using wireless headphones in your class or library but haven’t yet bought any, we recommend you first read up on the differences between infrared, UHF and VHF frequencies which wireless headphones use. Since the characteristics of each frequency varies, what you have in mind for how they will be used should be a good match with the type of frequency selected. For example, if you’re wanting to use something for just a couple of students to share while sitting at a computer together, infrared headphones may be better suited for your purposes than the CLS system.The CLS system can accommodate any number of students using the appropriately color-matched headphones within its 100’+ range (the hardware for each of the three frequencies has a dedicated color, with matching headphones). Each system includes its own wireless transmitter, four wireless headphones, and all of the necessary chargers and cords. Additional headphones can be purchased separately.

Shared Saint Marks librarian, Sherrie Melinat, “I allocate 20 minutes each day to each student for independent reading, and the wireless headphones give them the option to listen along to what they are reading, making it a more interactive experience. The headphones allow them to listen to the text they need without bothering other students in the library.”


Helping teachers and students with educationally appropriate classroom AV equipment since 1947.