Strategies for Improving the Listening and Learning Environment

Improve How Your Child Listens and Learns

  • Get the child’s attention before speaking and, when possible, get within three feet of the child.
  • Turn off competing sounds, such as music and television in the background.
  • Face the child and speak clearly, using visual cues such as hands or pictures in addition to speech.
  • Use short, simple sentences and comment on what the child is doing.
  • When speaking to the child, slow down, raise the sound level, and enunciate clearly.
  • Read to or with the child, explaining pictures and asking questions.
  • Call attention to the sounds and spelling of words when reading.
  • Patiently repeat words, phrases, and questions when misunderstood.
  • In the classroom, ensure that the child sits near the teacher in the front of the room.
  • If further assistance in the classroom is necessary, use a remote microphone personal or sound field amplification system.


Rosenfeld RM, Shin JJ, Schwartz SR, et al. Clinical practice guideline (update): otitis media with effusion. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;154(1 Suppl):215-225.

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The information on is provided solely for educational purposes and does not represent medical advice, nor is it a substitute for seeking professional medical care.