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ELEMENTS I Teacher Manual

STERK Engels Teacher Manual Elements I

Exercise Overview

Exercise Overview Acoustically Modified Speech Have you ever worked with a student who had modifications for additional think time, extra wait time, or for teachers to speak more slowly? All of these modifications provide the student with extra time to make sense of information, also known as processing time. For students who struggle with processing speed, and for those learning a new language, slowing down the rate of speech and emphasizing specific sounds can help them develop accurate phonological representations while increasing comprehension. Fast ForWord’s acoustically modified speech technology—sometimes referred to as “glasses for the ears”—slows and emphasizes speech sounds so that students can hear all sounds in a word. This technology can even stretch out sounds that are physically impossible for human speakers to stretch on their own. “Why does everything sound so strange?” Some speech sounds, such as the /b/ sound in the word “bat,” have very fast transitional elements. When we say them aloud, these elements are easy to miss, but slowing them and emphasizing them (by presenting them at a higher volume) helps the brain process and respond to them more quickly. The modified words and syllables in the Fast ForWord exercises may sound strange or mechanical to those who process sounds quickly. But for students who need a little extra time, the modified sounds and words will be easier to identify than natural speech. As students progress, the stretching and emphasis are reduced, pushing the brain to process at faster and faster rates until it can process natural speech. Why Does Everything Sound So Strange? (Student) in Student & Teacher Resources Why Fast ForWord Sounds the Way it Does (Teacher) in Student & Teacher Resources Did you know? In Ocean Explorer, students identify and sequence frequency sweeps—sounds that change in pitch from low to high (“Weeps”) or high to low (“Woops”). What does this have to do with being a good listener and reader? The frequencies and durations of the frequency sweeps resemble some of the rapid transitions in the sounds of the English language. To understand speech, it’s important to quickly be able to tell frequency sweeps apart. Although we are unaware of such frequency sweeps when we hear someone talk, many of the common speech sounds, such as /b/, /d/, /g/, /p/,and /t/, have a frequency sweep component. Our brains have to be able to identify these frequency sweeps in order to understand what someone is saying. For example, one sweep is all that differentiates /b/ from /d/, and that makes the difference between hearing bad and dad. A frequency sweep that passes by in a fraction of a second can be critical for correctly identifying a speech sound, recognizing a word, and understanding a sentence. It can be especially difficult to hear these sounds when the language is unfamiliar or the speaker is unclear or when listening in a noisy environment. Robust and rapid auditory processing is critical for students who are learning through spoken language. It is also critical for building the speech sound representations that are the basis of early reading skills like phonological awareness and phonics. Ocean Explorer improves students’ ability to recognize frequency sweeps quickly and accurately. 24 Elements I Teacher Manual

Facilitate and Encourage Introduce Engage To introduce the exercise to your students, you can start by explaining to students that they will be listening to frequency-modulated sweep sounds. Say: Have you ever had a song you know so well that you can recognize it after just a few notes have been played? The human auditory system can do amazing things when it is well tuned. It has to be well tuned to understand speech sounds, because it has to process more than 700 sounds per minute in typical spoken language! This exercise tunes your auditory system to quickly distinguish one of the important components of many speech sounds—frequency sweeps. The sounds presented are actually sound sweeps that cover the frequencies in human speech. The object is to listen carefully and determine whether the sound sweeps you hear are up or down sweeps. We will listen together and share strategies you might use to tell the difference. Demo 1. Say: Today, we’re going to practice matching the sound or sequence of sounds presented to you. Together, we’ll work on an exercise called Ocean Explorer. I’ll get us started, and then I’d like for you to try. 2. Project the Ocean Explorer Introduction (English or Spanish) demo. 3. Follow along with the demo, which explains how the exercise works. 4. Encourage choral response or hand-raising. Ask those who can hear the difference to share their strategies (i.e. closing their eyes, humming to themselves, assigning an environmental sound to the sweeps for a memory association). Have students encourage each other by seeing who can get the most correct answers in a row. 5. Keyboard shortcuts: • Go button: Space bar • “Weep” answer: Up arrow • “Woop” answer: Down arrow Direct students to log in and work individually on the Ocean Explorer Demo for approximately 10 minutes. This time period mimics the timing of the exercise once it’s assigned. Debrief with students to ensure they understand the task and objective of the exercise. Ask, What did you notice? Have students share anything that they have questions about. Ocean Explorer includes instructional audio for the exercise introduction, instructions, and targeted practice. By default, these are presented in English. You can, however, select Spanish instructions for all, some, or individual students on the Manage page in mySciLEARN. Elements I Teacher Manual 25