Research & Experience

Reading and Spelling

When students are learning to read, they must read aloud. One of the reasons this is true is because children must first be made aware of the individual sounds, or phonemes, in a word. Once they are aware of these phonemes, they begin to recognize that when these sounds are put together, they equal a word.

By raising the learner’s phonemic awareness, WhisperPhone accelerates the learning process—whether it is reading, math or learning lines for a theater performance.

WhisperPhone in Practice: Improving Reading and Spelling

  • Situation: Improving reading results, reading fluency, reading comprehension, and taking vocabulary tests.
  • Activity: Wear WhisperPhone while reading. Use during spelling tests. 
  • Expected Outcomes: Improved reading skills. Improved spelling skills.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: Raises phonemic awareness.

WhisperPhone in Practice: Checking Work Aloud

  •  Situation: Checking work aloud or wearing during any "learning aloud" activity.
  • Activity: Sub-vocalizing concepts.
  • Expected Outcomes: WhisperPhone blocks distractions and helps students focus. It also encourages softer voices to create a quieter learning environment.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: Provides multiple visual, auditory, motor inputs and blocks distractions by improving signal-to-noise ratio.

Editing and Writing

When children are learning to write, it is common for them to misspell words or even omit words. When wearing WhisperPhone during a writing or editing activity, learners can, without disturbing others, say every word aloud to hear each sound in the word very clearly. Speaking each word aloud tends to have a positive effect in three areas. First, it slows the pace at which learners write, so they take the time to focus on their work. Second, learners tend to omit fewer words in their initial copy writing. Third, because they sound out each word as they write it, learners’ spelling results tend to improve. These same benefits will likely be seen in editing phase of writing, as well.

Music, Debate, Theater, and Speech

Theater requires each actor to become a new character, which often means adjusting an accent or using one’s voice to portray an emotion. WhisperPhone helps actors to practice modulating their voices while also providing an excellent way to memorize their lines.

Debate and speech practice with WhisperPhone helps the speakers to avoid a monotone voice and to learn ways to make their standpoint better understood through voice inflection. It also helps with memorization.

Learning a New Language

Foreign language teachers and teachers with ELL students—WhisperPhone provides assistance when learning the intricacies of a new language. It helps to develop or lighten accents for better pronunciation.

WhisperPhone in Practice: Learning a New Language

  • Situation: Accent modification and learning a new language. WhisperPhone is great for ELL students and foreign language classrooms.
  • Activity: Use WhisperPhone Duet with a partner to enhance vocal modeling and improve the learner’s ability to hear, produce and correct the proper sounds of the language being learned.
  • Expected Outcomes: Learner more likely to match phonemes and prosodic patterns of language being learned.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: When learning to speak a language that is new to us, we must practice speaking it. WhisperPhone Duet is a learning tool that can be used with a partner during practice time. Duet captures, amplifies, and conveys the learners’ voices directly to their ear so they can hear themselves, and each other, more clearly. Duet strengthens the auditory feedback loop enhancing the detection of unique word sounds and oral punctuation of any language. This assists learners in hearing, producing, and correcting the proper sounds of that language.

Special Needs

Speech language pathologists and audiologists tell us that WhisperPhone enhances therapy efforts with the following:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Activity: Practice reading aloud.
  • Expected Outcomes: Stronger retention of and familiarity with sight words; improved reading comprehension.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone provides multiple visual, auditory, motor inputs and blocks distractions by improving signal-to-noise ratio.

Adult Apraxia of speech & childhood Apraxia of speech

  • Activity: Repetition of sounds, syllables, words, sentences with varying rate, intensity, and duration; expressive reading.
  • Expected Outcomes: Better articulation.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by simultaneously strengthening the signal, in conjunction with the Tactile Proprioceptive Kinesthetic (TPK) Loop, it strengthens the neural signal to build a stronger neural pathway. In other words, it becomes easier for the user to repeat the desired pronunciation in the same way in the future.

Auditory Discrimination

  • Activity: Repeating a verbal description (e.g. “The chicks are on the table” versus “The chips are on the table”) and then identifying the corresponding picture.
  • Expected Outcomes: Improved ability to hear differences between similar sounding words.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio, it reduces background noise and highlights the difference between hard-to-hear contrasts between similar sounds.

Autism

  • Activity: Role playing of socially acceptable behavior/naming pictures aloud.
  • Expected Outcomes: Learner better able to modulate voice (i.e. rate, duration, intensity).
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by simultaneously strengthening the signal, in conjunction with the Tactile Proprioceptive Kinesthetic (TPK) Loop; it strengthens the neural signal to build a stronger neural pathway. In other words, it becomes easier for the user to repeat the desired pronunciation in the same way in the future.

Dyslexia

  • Activity: Practicing reading aloud.
  • Expected Outcomes: Stronger retention/familiarity with sight words/comprehension.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by providing stronger auditory input and blocks distractions by improving the signal-to-noise ratio. Through an improved signal-to-noise ratio, the learner can hear phonemes more clearly and self-monitor/self-correct more effectively.

Auditory Processing Disorder (with weakness in auditory decoding)

  • Activity: Distinguishing between words with similar sounds (e.g., cake-Kate-take; nine-mine-mime) and/or completing rhymes.
  • Expected Outcomes: Increased consistency in being able to read and produce the target words.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio, it reduces background noise and highlights the difference between hard-to-hear contrasts between similar sounds.

Aphasia

  • Activity: Reading out loud, engaging in verbal problem-solving tasks, picture description tasks.
  • Expected Outcomes: Increased control of verbal expression secondary to increased detection of one’s own errors.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by increasing signal-to-noise ratio; which increases attention to and focus on one’s own verbal output resulting in improved detection of errors. Improved detection allows for quicker repair and self/correction and, thus, decreases dependency on prompts from others.

Adult Apraxia of speech & childhood Apraxia of speech

  • Activity: Repetition of sounds, syllables, words, sentences with varying rate, intensity, and duration; expressive reading.
  • Expected Outcomes: Better articulation.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by simultaneously strengthening the signal, in conjunction with the Tactile Proprioceptive Kinesthetic (TPK) Loop, it strengthens the neural signal to build a stronger neural pathway. In other words, it becomes easier for the user to repeat the desired pronunciation in the same way in the future.

Non-verbal or limited verbal child

  • Activity: Free play with toy animals, cars, planes, etc.
  • Expected Outcomes: Increased sound play and improved imitation of non-speech sounds.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps because it amplifies a child’s own sound production and increases auditory feedback of the sounds, it reinforces sound production.

Selective Mutism

  • Activity: Making sound effects while listening to a story that is read aloud or when playing.
  • Expected Outcomes: Making more sounds in the presence of others.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: Because it amplifies a child’s own sound production and increases auditory feedback of the sounds, it reinforces sound production. The child may focus more on the enjoyment of his own sounds without focusing on the presence of another person.

Prosodic defects

  • Activity: Repeating syllables, words, sentence with varying rate, intensity, and duration; expressive reading.
  • Expected Outcomes: User can match prosodic patterns of language they’re learning. Users will have increased awareness of their own speech prosody and will be better able to produce varied intonation patterns to match a target pattern and to incorporate the patterns when reading.
  • Why WhisperPhone helps: WhisperPhone helps by enhancing the auditory feedback loop by making users’ speech more distinct to themselves and thus improves self-monitoring and allows for better self-correction.
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