Prep Assessment – First Year of Formal Schooling. Auditory Processing Explained
As part of our initial Prep assessment we administer the Royal Children’s Hospital Auditory Screening Assessment as recommended. I often have parents watch their child’s initial testing and I find the responses to this test most surprising.
Parents often say, their child doesn’t follow instructions or doesn’t seem to hear. After having this assessment explained they realise that (normal scoring) young children don’t process information or words like adults and that they need to be more aware how they give instructions or how many they give at once. This is very relevant to our instructions as teachers. We need to be aware of our student’s abilities (boys & girls) to process information and structure our explicit teaching sessions carefully.
Auditory Processing Assessment Kit – Understanding How Children Listen and Learn –
Royal Children’s Hospital
Does teacher professional development make a difference? Please read or follow link to full article.
‘Auditory processing is important for literacy and behaviour. Children’s auditory
processing capacities are strongly linked to their initial and subsequent literacy progress, as well as to their attentive behaviours in the classroom.
Auditory processing screening and related teacher PD works! Data obtained from
administration of the AP screening protocols have strong predictive validity and utility.
The evidence indicating significant improvements in children’s literacy progress between ‘trial’ and ‘reference’ schools – for both ESL and ESB children – emphasises the importance of building pedagogical capacities in teachers as an integral part of their initial education and training, as well as via on-going professional development. Compared with children in the ‘reference’ schools, variations in literacy achievement progress for children in the ‘trial’ schools decreased significantly over a 6-month period, and beyond. In the absence of such screening and PD (in the ‘reference’ schools), the attentive behaviours of under-achieving boys deteriorated. Follow-up of ‘at-risk’ children is crucial.
Auditory processing screening by teachers was well accepted and recommended for
inclusion in School Entry Assessment procedures. Teachers strongly endorsed the value of the AP professional development, since many claimed to be unaware of typical variations in children’s auditory processing abilities and the implications for classroom practice. The screening for auditory processing at School Entry was well accepted by the teachers and the information gained in association with the professional development had a marked effect on literacy outcomes for the whole class. Furthermore, auditory processing ability at School entry was a strong predictor for both literacy achievement and behaviour, and the general effect of the PD intervention was particularly marked for ESL children and for boys’
attentive behaviours in the classroom.
Rue Wright Memorial Award paper
RACP Scientific Meeting 2005
The findings arising from this study have important implications for initial teacher education and training, as well as for teacher in-service professional development. Likewise, the findings should have important influences on shaping educational policy and practice for the early and middle years of schooling. In this regard, an important outcome of the study to date has been an Auditory Processing Assessment Kit produced jointly by the Department of Education and Training and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne (Victoria, 2001). The initial version was
distributed to Victorian government primary schools in the first week of February 2001. The kit contains audio and video materials designed to support early years teachers to administer the Auditory Processing Assessment Procedure as part of ‘Prep-Entry Assessment’ protocols. In particular, the materials consist of a step-wise procedure for assessing children’s auditory processing capacities, a teacher professional development component with background information, and practical classroom management strategies (as summarized above).
An up-dated version of this kit is currently being developed jointly by researchers at the Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne) and the Australian Council for Educational Research.
This version (expected to be completed by mid-June 2005) extends the AP screening protocols for use by teachers of students from the first to the tenth years of schooling (i.e., 5-15 year-olds).
The research work of neurophysiologists at the Australian National Acoustic Laboratories is worth noting here. In particular, the findings of LePage and Murray related to auditory capacity derive from otoacoustic emission tests on 3000 clinic-referred persons aged 2-80 years (see: LePage, 2002; LePage & Murray, 1998, 2002, 2004; Murray & LePage, 1993). [Note that an otoacoustic emission test measures the reaction time of an ear; i.e., how quickly the ear responds to streams of sounds such as speech]. Analyses of the available data indicate that although there is a notable decline in auditory processing ability with age for both males and females, after the age of four years males have significantly less ability than females to process auditory ‘streams’ of sound such as speech. LePage (2002) notes:
The overwhelming fact … is that from about the first decade of life the ears of boys are effectively older than the ears of girls. They process sounds more slowly and provide less information to the brain to be analysed. … We are saying that, given our findings, it is not reasonable to expect that boys, on average, will absorb class teaching material as readily as girls (cited in Commonwealth of Australia, 2002, pp. 104-105).’
BSc(Hons) MEd MAudSA
NB: Follow links to order . It’s easy to use and explained well. This is the most important initial assessment I administer and I highly recommend this for older students ‘at risk’.