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PA-IRSYS Case Study, Yuma AZ

George Washington Carver School
Helps Teachers Enunciate for Students


Case Study:
G.W. Carver Elementary School
Yuma, Arizona

Issue
About 12 percent of all preK-12 students in the United States are considered English language learners. And projections indicate that by 2015, more than 50 percent of all students in K-12 public schools across America will not speak English as their first language. Fully understanding this prediction, educators at George Washington Carver Elementary School, located in Yuma, Ariz., serve a growing population of students where more than half are in a transitional language environment at home and among peers.

The school’s principal, Debra Drysdale, has a background in bilingual education and a passion for helping students to transition from their native language to English. From her past experiences, Drysdale understands that technology can be the key to helping her students master English.

“From my experience, I know that the ability to discern between the end of one word and the beginning of another is critical to learning a new language,” Drysdale said. “We wanted to incorporate technology into each classroom that would allow our teachers to reach every student. We wanted to eliminate the guesswork that comes from learning a new language.”

Implementation
After researching technology that could help ELL students, they chose to purchase a Califone Infrared Audio System for each classroom. Designed for installation in a variety of educational venues, the infrared wireless audio system provides educators and presenters with a significantly increased coverage area and improved sound distribution.

Numerous studies verify the educational benefits of sound field amplification systems, including increased on-task behavior and student attention to oral instruction, improved comprehension among ELL students, and reduced vocal strain and fatigue for teachers.

The Califone Classroom Infrared Audio System offers all the benefits of wireless sound field amplification without the interference between adjacent classrooms, providing greater coverage and reception as well as even sound distribution. In addition, two ceiling-mounted infrared receivers double the available coverage area to accommodate large classrooms.

Unlike systems using ceiling speakers, which bounce the sound randomly off walls, the Califone audio system uses two powerful “array” speakers to project the sound pattern directly at the audience. With evenly distributed sound provided by the presentation system, students in every area of the classroom can hear oral instruction and educational audio technology clearly.

The system also includes a lightweight belt-pack transmitter with a lapel microphone for the teacher, a wireless handheld microphone for student use, and a lockable metal case that stores the volume, brass and treble controls as well as the line inputs and outputs.

Results
“Some of our educators use the system religiously, never removing the voice pack throughout the school day, while others use it selectively for full-class instruction,” Drysdale said. “We know that this technology is helping our students. We know they are able to hear the teacher better, which creates a more language-focused learning environment.”

As an additional benefit, one teacher found that having the microphone packet on served as a visual clue to students that the teacher was ready to speak, a plus of classroom management.

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