Teachers and teaching: Speech production accommodations due to changes in the acoustic environment

Eric J. Hunter, Pasquale Bottalico, Simone Graetzer, Timothy W. Leishman, Mark L. Berardi, Nathan G. Eyring, Zachary R. Jensen, Michael K. Rolins, Jennifer K. Whiting

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


School teachers have an elevated risk of voice problems. The results of three studies investigating this elevated risk in terms of speaking environments teachers' encounter at work are presented. In the first study, 57 teachers were observed for 2 weeks (waking hours), comparing voice use in the school environment and in non-school environments. In a second study, 45 participants performed a short vocal task multiple times in two different rooms: a variable acoustic room and an anechoic chamber. Each time they entered the variable acoustics room, the reverberation time and/or the background noise condition had been modified. Besides being having their speech recorded, subjects responded to questions about their vocal comfort and their perception of changes in the acoustic environment. In a third study, 20 untrained vocalists performed a simple vocal task in the following conditions: with and without background babble and with and without transparent plexiglass shields to increase the first reflection. Relationships were examined between [1] the results for the room acoustic parameters; [2] the subjects' perception of the room; and [3] the recorded speech acoustic. From these three studies several gender differences were found; some of those differences held for each room condition (reverberation, noise level, and early reflection).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3102-3107
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Building Physics Conference, IBPC 2015 - Torino, Italy
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015


  • Aural feedback
  • Lombard Effect
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)

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