3 Foolproof Ways to Save Your Hearing

by Mary Kent Hill, Delia Hudson, and Kara VanHooser

Photo by flattop341 (Flickr)

What is “hearing conservation”?

Hearing conservation means “conserving”, or protecting, your hearing.

Why is it important?

Loud noise can damage hearing. The level of the noise as well as the length of time exposed to the the noise can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Continued exposure to noise above 85 dBA (adjusted decibels) over time will cause hearing loss. How loud are the sounds around us? Normal conversation is about 60 dBA. A food processor is about 85 dBA.  An ambulance siren is about 120 dBA. For more information, see these resources about noise and environmental sounds.

How can we practice hearing conservation?

When you encounter a loud noise, take these steps to protect your hearing:

  1. Turn the sound down if you can.
  2. If you can’t do that, then walk away from the sound.
  3. Another option is to protect your ears with your hands, earplugs or earmuffs.

See these resources for more information about hearing conservation.


Noise. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/noise/. Accessed December 3, 2015.

FIRST YEARS – Professional Development through Distance Education. FIRST YEARS – Professional Development through Distance Education. Available at: http://www.firstyears.org/lib/banana.htm. Accessed December 3, 2015.

Dangerous Decibels – A public health partnership for prevention of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. Dangerous Decibels The Solution Comments. Available at: http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/about-us/the-solutions/. Accessed December 3, 2015.


New e-book from the Stuttering Foundation

by Beth Burns

vakantie Madeira oktober 2001The Stuttering Foundation recently tweeted exciting news for teachers, parents, and speech-language pathologists.  “The Girl Who Stutters” is a free e-book for elementary or middle school students.  If you have a child/student who stutters, this could be an excellent resource.

The Girl Who Stutters


Difference or Disorder? When should I refer my language-learning student?


by Jennifer Kirschner & Rebecca Fox

How does a teacher know when a student whose first language is different from the ELL Photolanguage of instruction is appropriate for a referral for a speech-language evaluation?

Some stages of language development can seem concerning but are normal patterns.

Other times, there might be red flags you should not discount, regardless of language background!

Typical Second Language Development

  • Silent period: This first part of language acquisition can last as long as a year! Young children can have long silent periods.
  • Interference/ transfer: Student’s English errors mirror normal first-language structure.
  • ⇒ “house red” instead of “red house.”
  • Code-switching: Changing language in the middle of a phrase or sentence.
  • ⇒ “I like tu camisa.”
  • Grammatical errors: As a child learns a second language, you may hear mistakes similar to those a toddler makes when learning their first language. These are considered developmental.
  • Language loss: If a child does not use their first language, they will lose it! This can impact overall language ability.  Encourage families to use their native language at home to give their children a rich language experience.

red flag       RED FLAGS!          red flag

  • A parent is concerned about child’s language and communication.
  • A family history of language disabilities.
  • Student has a history of ear infections.
  • Student has a history of learning problems in their primary language.
  • Development and/or language skills are delayed compared to siblings.
  • Student’s growth seems lower compared to other students with a similar cultural and language background.
  • Lack of progress with interventions.
  • Inappropriate social skills.