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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 86  |  Page : 31--40

Classroom Listening Conditions in Indian Primary Schools: A Survey of Four Schools


1 Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Correspondence Address:
Heramba G Selvarajan
Department of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai 600116, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.199240

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Introduction: Background noise affects the listening environment inside classrooms, especially for younger children. High background noise level adversely affects not only student speech perception but also teacher vocal hygiene. The current study aimed to give an overview of the classroom listening conditions in selected government primary schools in India. Materials and Methods: Noise measurements were taken in 23 classrooms of four government primary schools in southern India, using a type 2 sound level meter. In each classroom measurements were taken in occupied and unoccupied conditions. Teacher voice level was measured in the same classrooms. In addition, the classroom acoustical conditions were observed and the reverberation time for each classroom was calculated. Results: The mean occupied noise level was 62.1 dBA and 65.6 dBC, and the mean unoccupied level was 62.2 dBA and 65 dBC. The mean unamplified teacher speech-to-noise ratio was 10.6 dBA. Both the occupied and unoccupied noise levels exceeded national and international recommended levels and the teacher speech-to-noise ratio was also found to be inadequate in most classrooms. The estimated reverberation time in all classrooms was greater than 2.6 seconds, which is almost double the duration of accepted standards. In addition, observation of classrooms revealed insufficient acoustical treatment to effectively reduce internal and external noise and minimize reverberation. Conclusion: The results of this study point out the need to improve the listening environment for children in government primary schools in India.






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