Whether you are wanting to boost your child’s reading routine at home or are an SLP looking to add something new to your toolkit, we understand that proof of effectiveness is important to you. WhisperPhone draws on many different proven methods to enhance a reader’s learning, such as multi-sensory stimulation, focused auditory input (FAI), and more. It also offers benefits to readers that need additional or alternative accommodations when it comes to reading and oral practice. Below are some resources that explain the research behind these methods, so that you can be assured that the WhisperPhone is the right tool for you and your teaching goals.
Speech and Language Development
Communication sciences and disorder researcher Barbara Williams Hodson identified the importance of focused auditory input (FAI) and sound amplification in every speech intervention session. Hodson explains that speech acquisition occurs through listening and that FAI, which WhisperPhone carries out, can maximize the effectiveness of a learning session.1
“It is important to incorporate auditory stimulation with slight amplification so that children become aware of the acoustic characteristics of sounds they are not yet producing how their own error productions sound.” (pg. 141)
In the Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Liu et al. describe the benefits that auditory feedback has on vocalization regulation. In other words, auditory feedback tools allow students to immediately hear the pitch and tone of their voice and adjust accordingly. Auditory feedback tools teach voice control and how to match one’s voice to the situation around them. 2
In a study the reading fluency of Grade 2 students, a PhD researcher found “whisper phones” to be beneficial to both readers with and without learning difficulties.3
“A number of studies have shown that learning is more effective when different senses are called upon (Block, Parris and Whiteley, 2008; Hoffman, 1991). In this activity, the sense of hearing is added, as students will hear themselves read instead of reading silently. Students read the text by holding the whisper phone, a small curved cylinder as if they were placing a telephone up to their mouth and ear. When they read aloud, they hear their voice being amplified, which helps to isolate their reading from the other noises in the classroom. Research has been carried out using these phones known as “whisper phones”. The findings show that there are beneficial effects for the improvement of fluency, word decoding, and comprehension (Rasinski, 2002; Rasinski, Flexer and Boomgarden-Szypulski, 2006).”
The Indiana Department of Education approved and currently recommends the use of a “whisper phone” as an accommodation when students need to read text aloud to themselves in standardized testing situations. Accommodation tools like these allow students to complete important testing with maximum comprehension and comfort.4
“Read Aloud to Self: Student may read aloud to self so they can listen to themselves as they answer the questions, using devices such as a whisper phone.” (pg. 21)
These are only a few great examples of how the WhisperPhone can enhance the learning activities of your students or children. Your commitment to finding thoroughly researched interventions is applauded! We hope to have helped in your search and shown you how WhisperPhone can bring multi-sensory learning and auditory feedback to your young learners.
- Hodson, B. W., & Paden, E. P. (1991). Targeting intelligible speech: A Phonological Approach to remediation(2nd ed.). Pro-Ed.
- Liu, H., Behroozmand, R., & Larson, C. R. (2010). Audio-vocal interactions in the mammalian brain. Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, 19, 393–402. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-374593-4.00036-x
- Bessette, L. (2022, March 21). Using the response to intervention (RTI) model to develop reading fluency in grade 2 students. LD @ School. https://www.ldatschool.ca/response-intervention-reading-fluency/
- Indiana Department of Education. (2019).2019-2020 Accessibility and Accomodations Guidance, Office for Student Assessment. [PDF] https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED611349.pdf