Do You Hear What I Hear? - Listening Activities
By Judith Maginnis Kuster
"There is only one rule to become a good talker-- learn how to listen," said an unknown author. Although speech-language pathologists and audiologists may suggest additional "rules," both professions agree that listening is an important skill. Speech-language and hearing specialists often incorporate listening activities with individuals who have speech sound differences or disorders and those who have hearing impairment, including those with cochlear implants.
Listening activities are also used to help individuals recovering from aphasia to improve auditory memory, teach individuals with autism spectrum disorders, help clients with attention or central processing disorders, and serving many other clients. The following resources offer freely available activities featuring this important component of treatment.
Listening for Environmental Sounds
Listening for Speech
- The FindSounds search engine (www.findsounds.com/types.html) locates online sounds made by birds, animals, natural events, household items, musical instruments, holiday events, people, tools, vehicles, and more.
- Bananas in Pyjamas (www.abc.net.au/children/bananas/games/animal_sounds/default.htm) offers a timed animal-sound matching/concentration activity with easy, hard, or very hard examples.
- Animal Sounds (www.perunakellari.fi/animalsounds/animal-e.html) invites the user to type the name of the animal heard from a word bank of 21 animals.
- Who Am I (www.kidsplanet.org/games/js/whoami.html) asks users to guess sounds made by 20 animals heard at night.
- On the Fisher Price Animal Sounds Game (www.fisher-price.com/us/littlepeople/clubhouse/games.asp?section=animalsounds&gameID=LP_AnimalSounds) users click on the picture of the animal they hear.
- Users identify sounds and sort musical instrument sounds at Crickweb (www.crickweb.co.uk/assets/resources/flash.php?&file=sound1f)
- Which One Makes the Sound You Hear has eight animal and musical instruments sounds (www.scholastic.com/earlylearner/parentandchild/music/musicmatch.htm),
- Sound-Object Association: Learning to Listen to Sounds (www.listen-up.org/dnload/listen.pdf) is a learning module for the beginning listener from Listen-Up
- Brain Teasers (www.brainconnection.com/teasers) offers several activities for discriminating non-speech sounds such as Acorn Drop and Frog Jump.
- Find two games at Schoolsnet (www.schoolsnet.com/uk-schools/schoolHome.jsp)
- In the Sounds Game, children guess what sounds they can hear (on the home page, click on "more primary lessons" then "music" then "open Unit1: Ongoing SKills" and finally, at the bottom of the page under "other classroom resources,""PDF: The Sounds Game."
- Also open Music Unit 2 to find Lotto Board worksheets and PDF: Lotto Game Sounds. Children listen to a sound and then are shown what it is making that noise.
Listening Activities for Older Clients
- Brain Teasers (www.brainconnection.com/teasers/?main=ma/ffdomino) has several activities such as Sound Dominoes and Memory, that feature discriminating speech sounds .
- Alien Scavenger Hunt (www.earobics.com/gamegoo/games/alien/ashlo.html) asks players to choose the sounds they hear in the word presented.
- Memory (www.brainconnection.com/teasers/?main=ma/ffmemory) is a concentration game of sounds and words.
- Fuzzy Lion Ears (http://pbskids.org/lions/games/ears.html) is a game of listening for beginning sounds in words.
- Discrimination Cards by Dave Sindrey (http://web.archive.org/web/20071227205726/http://www.sickkids.ca/cochlearimplant/section.asp?s=For+Therapists&sID=6702&ss=Discrimination+cards&ssID=6768).
- Practice listening for beginning word sounds at Lanolin's Greenhouse (www.professorgarfield.org/Phonemics/greenhouse/greenhouse.html) and for ending sounds at Pumpkin Patch (www.professorgarfield.org/Phonemics/pumpkin_patch/pumpkin_patch.html)
- What Do You Hear (http://www2.cambridge.org/interchangearcade/sortbytype.do?level=0&type=Cup_word_up) has 16 units for discrimination practice of vocabulary and grammar
- Sound Discrimination Activities (www.brainconnection.com/teasers/?main=home#sound) offers nine activities developed to distinguish subtle differences in sound.
- Language Guide (www.languageguide.org/english/) offers practice in hearing many common vocabulary words through pictures and accompanying audio
General Listening Quizzes from Randall's Listening Lab (www.esl-lab.com/) offers everyday conversations with adult and child voices and also asks questions at easy, medium and difficult levels about what has been said.
Three Additional Treasures
- Listening Games from English Language Listening Lab Online (www.elllo.org/games/student_games.htm) provides several audio examples and asks the listener to choose the correct picture from a selection and answer a question.
- Audio concentration games ( www.manythings.org/ac) are timed and very challenging.
- A Great Question (http://agreatquestion.com/?cat=12) features short quotations with a question for discussion, a listening activity that may be appropriate for adults with a cochlear implant or as conversation starters with other adult clients.
And Finally. . . .
- Peter Flipsen offers Listening Lists for Auditory Bombardment (www.isu.edu/%7Eflippete/lists.html)
- The Listening Room (www.hearingjourney.com/listening_room/index.cfm?langid=1) provides activities and resources to support the development of speech, language and listening skills of children, adolescents and adult cochlear implant recipients.
- 123Listening.com (www.123listening.com/"123Listening.com) offers many activities (www.123listening.com/worksheetmakers/choosepicture2.php) including free listening quiz makers, an activity wizard, lesson plan materials and printable activities to use with downloadable audio files and mp3 listening tracks.
- Just for fun, try Dennis Drayna's "Distorted Tunes Test" a listening activity that may demonstrate some challenges with your own auditory discrimination! (www.nidcd.nih.gov/tunetest/dtt.asp)
- Learn how to make your own listening device (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster2/listening/listening.html).
Judith Kuster is a professor in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of Kuster's Internet columns are available in HTML format with active links (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster4/leader.html), although URLs change and there is no guarantee that links from previous articles are still functional.
Kuster, JM, Do You Hear What I Hear? - Listening Activities, The ASHA Leader, June 16, 2009, p. 26-27.