Amidst uncertainty during the Covid 19 pandemic there are many decisions that leaves you as a parent with your hands in your hair and with more questions than answers. One of these questions most certainly are whether or not to send your child back to school. While this piece most definitely does not aim to bring you facts about the risk of viral transmission, we do highlight the challenges that both going back to school with Covid 19 measures and home-schooling / online teaching poses in terms of hearing and access to learning.
Albert Mehrabian, a pioneer researcher of body language in the 1950’s, found that the total impact of a spoken message is about 7 percent verbal (words only) and 38 percent vocal (including tone of voice, inflection, and other sounds) and 55 percent nonverbal.
This is profound, considering that 55% of the spoken message is conveyed through facial expression, the visual shaping of the mouth and lips (lip reading if you will). Could this directly translate that children can lose up to 55% of what is being said in the classroom from under a mask?
Add the fact that a mask (depending on design) can cut around 10 dB of volume from what is being said – roughly translated to around a quarter of the volume of speech. This implies that even a person with 100% normal hearing might find it difficult to follow a conversation with a person wearing a mask. Imagine having to learn new concepts and having to grasp something that you are still learning while receiving only ¾ of the volume and missing out on 55% due to loss in visual cues and lip reading.
Besides the above mentioned limitation that masks pose, the classroom situation poses even more challenges due to potentially the following reasons:
Tips & guidelines for the classroom situation amidst Covid-19
For those children being home-schooled or attending online schooling, there are also certain significant challenges.
Tips for distance / online learning:
Wierdapark – 012 653 3830
Saxby Medicross – 087 944 1803
Benoni – Northmead – 011 425 0171