Many teachers suffer from voice problems and classroom acoustics has been considered as one of the potential hazards for this. The present study examines how classroom acoustics interacts with the voices of 14 teachers without voice problems and 13 teachers with voice problems. The assessment of the voice problems was made with a questionnaire and a laryngological examination. During teaching, the sound pressure level at the teacher’s position was monitored. The teacher’s voice level and the activity noise level were separated using mixed Gaussians. In addition, objective acoustic parameters of Reverberation Time and Voice Support were measured in the 30 empty classrooms of the study. An empirical model shows that the measured voice levels depended on the activity noise levels and the voice support. Teachers with and without voice problems were differently affected by the voice support of the classroom. The results thus suggest that teachers with voice problems are more aware of classroom acoustic conditions than their healthy colleagues and make use of the more supportive rooms to lower their voice levels. This behavior may result from an adaptation process of the teachers with voice problems to preserve their voices.
Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 11, 2010
Main Research Area:
160. Meeting Acoustical Society of America : Speech Communication, 2010