In previous months, we have given you tips and resources to get you started with your listening practice. Activities have focused on listening for specific speech sounds in words, common phrases and sentences. The topic of this post is ‘Speech Tracking’.
What Is Speech Tracking?
Speech tracking is a good activity for all recipients, wherever you are in your rehabilitation journey. There are four ways to practice speech tracking
- The reader reads the text and the listener (cochlear implant user) follows along by listening and looking at the text.
- The reader reads the text and the listener follows along by listening to and looking at a copy of the same text. In the listener’s copy of the text, some of the keywords are removed. The listener must identify these words from listening closely to the reader.
- The reader reads the text and the listener follows along by listening and looking at the same text. The reader will pause somewhere in each sentence of the text, and the listener must identify the next word and read the rest of the sentence.
- The reader reads a short phrase or sentence without the listener being able to see the text. The listener repeats back the phrase or sentence from what they heard.
You can use almost any text for speech tracking. Find something that you are interested in reading to make practice more interesting, such as:
- Newspapers or magazines
- Your favorite books
- Information or articles on a topic of interest
- YouTube videos with captions (this will allow you as the listener to follow along by listening and looking at the text, but you will not be able to practice the more challenging types of speech tracking listed above).
For the second type of speech tracking listed above, we have provided materials for you to practice with.
Tips For Practicing Speech Tracking
- If you are using a hearing aid in your other ear, remove it so you listen just with your audio processor.
- Don’t use lip reading to begin with, but add it if you need a clue.
- If the activities are difficult, add visual clues (lip reading, gestures) where needed after you have had a chance to ‘listen first’. For extra help, ask the reader to point to each word as they read.
- Remember, listening ‘mileage’ is important. Your brain needs time and practice to make sense of the information it is receiving from the cochlear implant.Listening practice with your CI can be tiring! Short bursts of practice, such as two 15-minute blocks per day, are better than one 30-minute session.
Tune in next month to find out about communication strategies. Our post will include tips to help you have more successful conversations.
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