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Is there an effect of dysphonic teachers' voices on children's processing of spoken language?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Barbara Dodd


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There is a vast body of literature on the causes, prevalence, implications, and issues of vocal dysfunction in teachers. However, the educational effect of teacher vocal impairment is largely unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of impaired voice quality on children's processing of spoken language. One hundred and seven children (age range, 9.2 to 10.6, mean 9.8, SD 3.76 months) listened to three video passages, one read in a control voice, one in a mild dysphonic voice, and one in a severe dysphonic voice. After each video passage, children were asked to answer six questions, with multiple-choice answers. The results indicated that children's perceptions of speech across the three voice qualities differed, regardless of gender, IQ, and school attended. Performance in the control voice passages was better than performance in the mild and severe dysphonic voice passages. No difference was found between performance in the mild and severe dysphonic voice passages, highlighting that any form of vocal impairment is detrimental to children's speech processing and is therefore likely to have a negative educational effect. These findings, in light of the high rate of vocal dysfunction in teachers, further support the implementation of specific voice care education for those in the teaching profession. © 2005 The Voice Foundation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rogerson J, Dodd B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Voice

Year: 2005

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Pages: 47-60

Print publication date: 01/03/2005

ISSN (print): 0892-1997

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4588

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2004.02.007

PubMed id: 15766849


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