Califone encourages the use of published peer-reviewed research supporting individual, small group and classroom-wide sound amplification. These references are intended only as beginning reference points and n expanded list of journals and original source materials can be found from some of these association web sites.
In order to organize the following research so it might be more readily accessible to certain products, we have grouped them by the following categories.
Classroom Wide Audio Amplification
The leading instructional tool to increase fluency is for students to hear fluent reading daily. Oral reading can, indeed, foster comprehension. By listening to their teacher read aloud to them over the course of the school year, students achieved better vocabulary and comprehension skills than students who have not been read to regularly by the teacher.
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Overcoming dyslexia, a new and complete science based program for reading problems at any level. New York, NY: Alfred Knopf. Audio levels the playing field so more students can participate in regular education classroom. By subsidizing with audio for students with learning differences will not be deprived of the same learning challenges of their peers. "Listening to stories will help a child retain his interest in reading and in books, and will expose him to the vocabulary and ideas he would be getting himself if he were reading."
The use of audio or sound field amplification to enhance the acoustic environment of schools significantly improves and facilitates successful student development of phonemic awareness.
Flexer, University of Akron 2002
Classrooms that used the audio enhancement systems indicated consistency in the decline of off-task behavior for all classes that used the system over classrooms that did not.
Ryan, University of West Florida 2002
The use of audio-assisted instruction has improved the literacy skills of students, especially with non-English students (ESL).
Classroom Acoustics for Children With Normal Hearing and With Hearing Impairment
The accurate transmission of acoustical information in a classroom is imperative for optimal academic achievement. Unfortunately, speech perception ability in a classroom setting can often be deleteriously affected by the acoustical characteristics of that environment. Acoustical variables that can compromise perceptual abilities include the reverberation time (RT) of the enclosure, the overall level of the background noise, the relationship between the level of the teacher's voice and the background noise, and the distance from the teacher to the child.
Carl C. Crandell
University of Florida, Gainesville
Joseph J. Smaldino
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls 2000
THE MARRS PROJECT: Mainstream Amplification Resource Room Study
The quality of oral instruction is enhanced with amplification since all children receive a clear audible instructional signal throughout the classroom, regardless of interfering noise and where they are seated. Teachers using amplification report improved student attention, fewer distractions, and less need to repeat instructions. Classroom management is enhanced and discipline problems are diminished because the teacher has better voice-control of every student in the classroom.
Classroom Acoustics I
A resource for creating learning environments with desirable listening conditions
This booklet is designed to provide a general overview of the problems and solutions concerning classroom acoustics. Straightforward, practical explanations and examples are given in the text; the Appendix provides more quantitative definitions and basic calculations, as well as useful resources for more detailed information.
The need for good classroom acoustics and the methods for attaining them have been known for decades, but this information has not been made readily available to architects, school planners, administrators, teachers, and parents. This booklet is designed to provide a general overview of the problems and solutions concerning classroom acoustics for both new construction and renovation. Straightforward, practical explanations and examples are given in the text; the Appendix provides quantitative definitions and calculations, as well as resources for more detailed information. The design of spaces with special acoustical requirements, such as theaters or music rooms, or any spaces with complex noise problems, are best handled by a professional acoustical consultant.
Classroom Acoustics I provides a supplemental resource for architects, educators, and school planners for use in new construction or in renovation of existing learning spaces. It is not intended to replace the services of a professional acoustical consultant but to serve as an introduction to the understanding of the elements of desirable listening conditions in classrooms and demonstrates how good acoustical design can improve the learning environment.
ASA - Originally published in August 2000; Revised May 2003, 16 pages,
Benjamin Seep, Robin Glosemeyer, Emily Hulce, Matt Linn, Pamela Aytar and Robert Coffeen
Classroom Acoustics II
Acoustical Barriers to Learning
Schools are places of learning where speaking and listening are the primary communication modes. Until recently neither school planners nor the general public were aware of the significant negative effect of noise and excessive reverberation on the learning process.
Classroom Acoustics II is designed to provide an overview of the need for quiet classrooms. It includes information on the problems experienced by students and teachers as a result of excessive noise and reverberation in classrooms. Special attention is focused on children: 1) learning English as a second language, 2) with ear infections, and 3) with permanent hearing loss. In addition, this booklet lists over 150 additional references on the topics covered.
ASA - Published in April 2003, 16 pages,
Peggy B. Nelson, Sigfrid D. Soli and Anne Seltz
Personal Sound Fields / Media Players
Repeated reading of text can help readers improve fluency. Listening to audio books several times will help our targeted struggling readers to develop fluency which in turn will lead to better comprehension of text. March 2005
The Reading Teacher 2005
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Allowing students to take home cd player on a daily basis "effectively engages parents and families in the education of their children has the potential to be far more transformational than any other type of education reform."
National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs 2004
Providing opportunities to observe and listen to modeled fluent reading and by practicing reading or reading along with text at their independent level. Fluency instruction strategies need to emphasize guided oral reading practices.
An association between increased vocabulary knowledge and reading with talking books. Poor readers who spent one month reading online using talking books made daily gains averaging 5.7 words on the Common Words Knowledge test. In UK classroom. Journal of Research in Reading, Vol 23, no. 2, pp149-157
A comparison of two types of computer-support for reading development. Journal of reading research in reading Vol. 23-2. The use of talking books is in itself highly motivating.
Everything you wanted to know about phonics (but were afraid to ask)
Reading Research Quarterly, 33,338-355 Students who have trouble conceptualizing that works have both sounds and meaning could be helped to bridge this gap by listening to works being read while they read them in print.
Stahl, Duffy-Hester, & Stahl, 1998
Students who have trouble conceptualizing that words have both sounds and meaning could be helped to bridge this gap by listening to words being read while they read them in print.
Gaskins & Gaskins, 1997
Using Talking Books with Reading Disabled Students. Reading and Writing Quarterly. 13(2), pp 185-190. Books with speech support made reading less frustrating, aid the development of decoding skills, improve fluency and provide considerable individual support.
McKenna et al., 1997
Students struggling in reading who read and listened repeatedly to high-interest stories on tape... made an average gain of 2.2 years in reading achievement, after participating in the study for about 27 weeks (less than a school year). That's three times the gain expected of a normally developing reader. As students listen while following the print version they increase sight word recognition skills, decoding skills, fluency, and automaticity. Technology as a presentation tool is engaging and motivating to students.
Smith and Elley, New Zealand 1997
It's never too late; leading adolescents to lifeline literacy. Audio books allow everyone to have equal and enjoyable access to literature. By using print conventions and context clues during reading, students expand their vocabulary; in listening to the modeled reading students better understand the effect of pace and prosody on their own reading. These read-alouds will encourage students to become independent readers as they find a purpose in reading.
Allen, Janet Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH 1995
Assisted reading practice effects on performance for poor readers in grades 3 & 4
Reading Research Quarterly, 30(3), 382-395. Students who took part in regular reading sessions where they listened to and followed along with a book on tape showed improvements in reading, speed and verbal efficiency (speed and accuracy of reading aloud) equivalent to those made by students who engaged in teacher-assisted reading sessions.
Shany & Biemiller, 1995
A Multisensory Supplement to Reading Instruction
Clearing House. 00098655 July/Aug 91. Vol 64 issue 6. Using the Stanford Achievement Test before and after the intervention (Two groups of third graders, both groups reading the same books at the same time each day. However one group heard the books on audiotape while following along in the text.) students using the audiotapes gained an average of two more months than children who read only text.
Negin, Gary, 1991
(Audio Tapes and Books: Perfect Partners. School Library Journal; Feb 1989. Vol. 35 issue 6 p.27-29). Audiotapes are effective in developing reading skills because "the spoken word and the visual word reinforce each other.
Moody, Kate, 1989
Identifies several benefits of recorded books: improved skills in recalling facts, study strategies, understanding of main idea and vocabulary, and pace. This confirms that students must have opportunities for repeated reading in efforts to build reading skills.
Dowhower, Sarah, Professor at Miami University of Ohio, editorial review board member for The Reading Teacher
Audio books further enable students to explore various genres and utilize their own values and judgments to choose texts. Students who are read to on a daily basis are found to have positive changes in their attitude toward reading.
Fisher & Douglas
State Report Cards
many students start out with high motivation, but persistent failure causes them to lose it. Technology provided ... will create learning experiences that are engaging and motivating for students. Skinner, Ronald, "state Report Cards." Education Week 02774232, 1/6/05, Vol 24 issue 17. Database: Professional Development Collection
Chard, Cooper and Kiger, in The Struggling Reader 2006
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Teaching phonological awareness with and without the computer. In Hulme, C. and M. Snowling (eds.) Dyslexia: Biology, Cognition, and Intervention. London: Whurr. Recorded speech substantially improved the disabled reader's reading performance.
Wise B. R. Olson and J. Ring.., 1997
Bimodal reading: benefits of a talking computer for average and less skilled readers. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29(3), p271-279. Students reading with recorded speech scored significantly higher on a later test of reading comprehension than those in text or audio only conditions.
Montali & Landwoski, 1996
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 4, pp 165-178. Synthetic speech and computer aided reading for reading disabled children. Recommend the use of recorded speech to support decoding and comprehension in children with reading difficulties.
Olofsson 1992, Wise 1997, Lewin 2000
Students who are taught to read in an audio rich environment are far better at obtaining information and develop their literacy skills far quicker than their counterparts who do not receive their advance learning. The study goes on to conclude that students being taught in an audio rich environment are showing massive gain in reading on state Criterion-Referenced Competency Test.
Harris-Hall Educational Foundation 2005
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Bringing Words to Life
Being able to provide vocabulary instruction in both oral and reading format should increase a student's ability to develop a rich vocabulary. Instruction that requires students to manipulate words in a variety of ways is useful in developing that vocabulary.
Beck, Isabel, New York, Guilford 2002
Focused read-alouds have been shown to promote vocabulary development.
Beck, McKeown & Kucan, 2002
The greatest gains are made when students actually read along orally with audio support and eyes on text.
Correct microphone placement and positioning can have a dramatic effect on the quality of sound.
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Cheat Sheet: Understanding Speech
Achieving good speech intelligibility in sound systems depends on many factors - some of which are controllable, and others that can’t be controlled.