High-Quality Headphones Help Boost English Literacy Skills in Young Learners

Case Study:
James Hendrix Elementary School
Boiling Springs, South Carolina

Located in Boiling Springs, S.C., James Hendrix Elementary School serves a student body in which more than 27 ethnicities are represented and 13 different languages are spoken. To accommodate such a diverse population, school staff members choose to use Rosetta Stone®, a language-learning software program, to help the approximately 800 students who attend the school learn and master the English language.

More than 50 percent of students attending James Hendrix Elementary School are from single parent households, many of whom do not have access to technology outside of school. It is important for school staff members, led by Principal Dawn Neely, to provide students with the English literacy skills they need, while also incorporating technology; using Rosetta Stone also helps students to learn basic computer and keyboarding skills.

To support the language program, and to incorporate even more technology in the classroom, the school needed durable headphones for students to use. "We needed headphones that would allow students to participate and listen to the language while using the software program. Most important, we needed headphones that would be suitable and durable enough for daily use by young learners," Neely explained. "The headphones we used previously broke too often."

Neely and her team decided to purchase the Califone Listening First™ Stereo Headphones (2800-BL). The school's technology assistant recommended the headphones based on her experiences seeing them in other schools. "The Califone headphones are extremely durable, and offer good listening sound without static or interference, which is important when learning or mastering a language," said Neely.

Designed specifically for use by younger students, the Listening First Stereo Headphones are built with safety as the first concern. The earcups are made with rugged ABS plastic to withstand daily use, and have slotted baffles that prevent accidental damage from prying fingers or foreign objects. Ideal for use with a computer or portable sound system, the headphones can be used in the classroom, library, media lab, or language lab.

Ensuring student safety, the volume control on the solid colored headphones is set from the audio source - not on the headphone or cord. In addition, around-the-ear ambient noise-reducing earcups deliver maximum protection against exterior sounds without added electronic circuitry or expense. This reduces the need to increase the volume, protecting students' ears and helping to keep them on task.

James Hendrix Elementary School keeps the headphones in its three media labs, where classes use the Rosetta Stone software program. In addition, three or four units are available in each classroom for everyday use during story-time, computer time or for differentiated instructional activities.

"Teachers and students shared with me they are happy to have new headphones that work and can withstand daily use by our younger students," Neely said. "We are feverishly trying to become an International Baccalaureate school, and I know that using Rosetta Stone, in conjunction with reliable headphones that allow students to really learn the skills they need, will help us in achieving our goal."

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