Classroom Noise and Children Learning Through a Second Language Double Jeopardy? Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   July 01, 2005
Classroom Noise and Children Learning Through a Second Language
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peggy Nelson
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Kathryn Kohnert
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Sabina Sabur
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Daniel Shaw
    Minneapolis Public Schools, MN
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: nelso477@umn.edu
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Clinical Forum: Speech, Language, and Hearing in Bilingual Children
Clinical Forum   |   July 01, 2005
Classroom Noise and Children Learning Through a Second Language
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2005, Vol. 36, 219-229. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/022)
History: Received March 15, 2004 , Revised July 6, 2004 , Accepted October 22, 2004
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2005, Vol. 36, 219-229. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2005/022)
History: Received March 15, 2004; Revised July 6, 2004; Accepted October 22, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 34

Purpose: Two studies were conducted to investigate the effects of classroom noise on attention and speech perception in native Spanish-speaking second graders learning English as their second language (L2) as compared to English-only-speaking (EO) peers.

Method: Study 1 measured children’s on-task behavior during instructional activities with and without soundfield amplification. Study 2 measured the effects of noise (+10 dB signal-to-noise ratio) using an experimental English word recognition task.

Results: Findings from Study 1 revealed no significant condition (pre/postamplification) or group differences in observations in on-task performance. Main findings from Study 2 were that word recognition performance declined significantly for both L2 and EO groups in the noise condition; however, the impact was disproportionately greater for the L2 group.

Clinical Implications: Children learning in their L2 appear to be at a distinct disadvantage when listening in rooms with typical noise and reverberation. Speech-language pathologists and audiologists should collaborate to inform teachers, help reduce classroom noise, increase signal levels, and improve access to spoken language for L2 learners.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Support for this research was provided by the University of Minnesota to the third author from the Bryng Bryngelson Communication Disorders Research Fund for graduate students. Additional funding was provided by Grant R03 DC05542 (titled Cognitive-Linguistic Processing in L1 and L2 Learners) to the second author from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and by the University of Minnesota (McKnight Land-Grant Professorship).
We are grateful to the administration, teachers, and students at Jefferson Elementary School for their participation in this study and to Edward Carney for assistance with data analysis.
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