What’s your Learning Style? New Science behind s-sound Articulation
Our Seal Speech Buddy took center stage in a recent study published in the Pennsylvania Speech & Hearing Association journal, and the results are in. After only 4 hours of speech therapy, students using Speech Buddies were pronouncing 75% of their s-sounds correctly while students using traditional visual and auditory cues, pronounced only 45% of their s-sounds correctly.
Turns out, the secret to s-sound articulation is “learning styles.”
What’s your learning style?
The idea is simple, some of us learn better by talking about an idea, or perhaps by mapping out an idea. A good teacher brings many learning modes into their classroom, knowing that “aha moments” come most easily when all the senses have a chance to contribute. Here’s a quick guide:
- Verbal – Do you need to talk it out? Does it click when you explain it to someone else? That’s verbal learning at work.
- Visual – Is there pile of post-it notes next to you? Fond of doodling during calls? You might be a visual learner.
- Tactile – Sports, bread-baking, dancing, managing a toddler birthday party — tactile learners excel here.
Naturally, this idea extends to speech therapy. In the study, all students are treated with visual and verbal instructions about how to make the s-sound, but the students using Speech Buddies have the benefit of a “tactile” learning experience as well. Using the Seal Speech Buddy helps a student understand exactly where to put their tongue to pronounce the s-sound correctly.
Tactile Learning is Key
Here’s the fine print in the study: while the study says that students without Speech Buddies are getting 45% of their s-sounds correct, that’s really an average of all the students in the study. A few students get ALL of their s-sounds correct with just a couple hours of verbal prompting and visual instruction.
But most students continue to struggle to pronounce the s-sound without tactile feedback. In the group that used Speech Buddies, only one student continued to struggle with the s-sound by the study’s conclusion. For some of us, it’s going to be very difficult to learn with just verbal prompting and visual cues. Fortunately, for common sounds, there is a Speech Buddy Tool that can help.
Impact on Parents and Students, and all of us
Outside of a study, kids who continue to have difficulty producing correct sounds will continue practicing, working with what they can to improve their articulation. But consider this quote from the paper’s introduction:
Articulation and speech sound disorders affect as many as 7.5% of the school-age population and can negatively impact teacher perceptions of students with reduced speech intelligibility as well as inter-peer relationships … Apart from this documented personal cost, articulation and speech sound disorders contribute to an estimated annual cost to society of between $30 billion and $154 billion in lost productivity, special education services, and medical care.
One little Speech Buddy Tool can have a lot of impact.