Auditory Processing Descriptive Teaching Group
By: Susan W. Owens
Auditory analysis deals with the child's ability to listen and process auditory stimuli. This ability is another vital skill critical for efficient learning. There are many auditory training programs on the market that can be used. To place the kindergarten students in this group, I use low scores on subtests #5 and #6 on the Developmental Tasks for Kindergarten Readiness profile sheet. For placing first graders, I use Jerome Rosner's Test of Auditory Analysis Skills. This very brief assessment will disclose those children who will benefit from training of auditory skills.
I use the combination of programs in the prescriptive group. I use Rosner's auditory perceptive skills techniques included in his book, Helping Children Overcome Learning Difficulties, pages 189-210. Rosner's books and tests can be found in Academic Therapy Publication catalog. I use this for approximately ten minutes. I also use Audi Perception training tapes. These are a series of tapes with corresponding worksheets. They include all areas of auditory training. I use one tape and one worksheet daily. Both of these programs are very well explained in the teacher manuals. The program you decide to use is not nearly as important as the fact that you use something to remediate at-risk children's auditory skills. It is important to do it daily and in a sequential manner. Auditory skills can be improved with consistent, daily practice.
I am also including many simple activities that can be used by all teachers at different times of the day. With all the auditory problems displayed by early at-risk learners, it only makes sense to strive to remediate them.
Auditory Skills Training
- Auditory training tapes/listening skills tapes
- "Simon Says" game
- Echoing — The teacher reads a sentence from a big book, and the child repeats the sentence verbatim. Increase length as mastered. This can be done daily at story time to increase auditory attention and memory with the whole class or individual students.
Provide quiet time for listening and practice the following sequence:
- Say unrelated numbers, and have the child repeat verbatim, for example: 3, 5, 6, 7. b. Say unrelated letters, and have the child repeat verbatim, for example: a, m, r, t.
- Say unrelated words, and have the child repeat verbatim, for example: boy, girl, bird.
- Say related words in sentences, and have the child repeat verbatim, for example: The man is a policeman. The bird is in the tree.
Each of these activities is started with a three or four word or number memory span and then increased as the children increase mastery.
- Draw a picture — The child is given a blank sheet of paper and is asked to draw each item. Example: Draw a house in the middle of the bottom of your paper, draw a sun at the top of your paper and draw a tree to the right of the house. Then ask the child to color each a certain color. Increase number and difficulty as mastered.
Oral direction practice: Give the child directions that require motor activity to complete. Go to the door, clap once, walk back to your seat and sit. Increase the number and level of difficulty as mastered.
A simple technique that I use for increasing auditory attention is to, reward "good listeners." When I am giving oral directions or lengthy explanations, I will say, "If you are listening to me right now, you may go and get a treat from the treat box." I only do this occasionally, but it truly does motivate good listening. The children never know when to expect it. The first time I do this, there may be only two or three children who get up. However, as time goes on, more and more children will be receiving treats as their auditory attention improves because I have given them a reason to listen.
When auditory problems are not remediated, the child will be unable to cope with the classroom activities. Inability to follow oral directions will cause him to be unable to keep up with peers. Lack of auditory memory will cause him to feel lost and confused. Auditory sequencing (order) and auditory discrimination (comparing and contrasting) will really hamper his ability to learn phonetic sounds that may ultimately hamper his ability to read well. Again, I will state, "If we are to make all children winners, we must take away the things that make them losers." Auditory processing problems will certainly hamper the child.
Susan W. Owens P.E.R.L. Providing for Early At-Risk Learners Owens & Owens Publishing, Inc. North Port, Florida, 2001 p.62-64