This ability is dependent on the physical clarity of the hearing system, the kind and amount of auditory stimulation, and the child’s natural genetic predisposition to learn from oral input from birth.
From birth (and even before) the growing child lives in a particular world of sounds and words. From this, language, the receptive ability to understand and the expressive ability to speak, develops.
If the clarity of input, especially in the speaking range, is impaired through many ear infections or allergic reactions that produce blocked ears and noses with fluid in the middle ear for extended periods greater than the norm, language and the development of speech is often delayed. This can be alleviated to some degree by inserting tubes in the child’s ear, sometimes with dramatic effect. However, it is important not to ignore the months and years from birth onward when the child’s hearing was affected.
If this delay is suspected due to speech delay or behavioural immaturity, and if standardized tests for early childhood flag the delay, rehabilitation can begin immediately by the age of 3, enabling the child to arrive at school with the problem addressed, if not fully resolved.
There are other causes for delay in auditory processing skills, including a child’s natural ability to learn in this way, or lack of specific stimulation when caregiving has not been given using English as the basic language.
Often, children or youth may have developed skills in listening to and learning from short and simple instructions, but they reach their challenge level on age appropriate, longer and more complex and challenging auditory input. This results in inexperience in processing the longer and more complex instruction in the higher grades.
In all cases, regardless of cause, the Vancouver Learning Centre signature program in Effective Listening will improve this brain-based skill.
But for us that is not enough!
The listening skill must be applied to learning better from oral instruction in general, and especially in the learner’s classroom, where to succeed in a larger group they need to learn as successfully as their peers from oral instruction.
Using a program that has produced successful outcomes over three decades, the Vancouver Learning Centre teachers are trained to deliver through both drill and oral delivery of increasingly difficult material a comprehensive program in improving simple and complex auditory processing skills.
This program is included in all VLC programs where there is reason to enhance this skill.