Auditory Sandwich

Auditory Sandwiching

UDL 3.3

Auditory Sandwich is a listening comprehension approach in which students are presented with an auditory message (e.g., simple directions, phrase that includes a new term or skill that the student may not understand), followed by a visual (e.g., picture, symbol, sign, item, hand gesture), and then the visual is removed with the auditory message presented a second time for repeated exposure to the sound. Auditory Sandwich can be used to support a variety of student needs (e.g., those with hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, executive functioning disorders, ELL) while comprehending and processing simple auditory messages and when teaching new vocabulary, especially for early learners. During the second presentation of the message, teachers can also verbally highlight target words or any words that a student appears to miss by changing tone or volume (e.g., “It’s time to wash your hands.”) in order to reinforce language and give students a heightened opportunity to use listening skills.

Implementation Tips

Pre-plan when breakdowns in auditory information may occur and prepare an Auditory Sandwich for those scenarios (e.g., giving new directions, introducing new vocabulary or tasks). During noisy transitions, use a consistent visual, similar to these [[ | sample picture cards ]], for quick and easy student reference.
Reviewing Established Visuals
Review previously established visuals used during lessons and throughout daily classroom routines (e.g., class schedule, transition signals, hand gestures) to help structure how Auditory Sandwich will be used with already established materials.
Simplifying Information
Use a simple auditory message when first introducing the strategy (e.g., simple phrases). Provide the student with simple familiar visuals, such as this [[ | symbol for “Line up,” ]] or this [[ | sign language visual for, “All done.” ]] Overtime, transition to full sentences when presenting auditory messages (e.g. “Please go to your line spot.”).
Maintaining Attention
Present an auditory message alone before offering a visual to give students an opportunity to focus on listening. Wait 1-2 seconds and if the student seems confused or does not take action, support comprehension by presenting the visual. After, repeat the auditory message again without the visual.
Using Tactile Visuals
Use tactile visuals (e.g., items that can be touched or held, such as a small toy, symbol, or cue card) to help build a multi-sensory understanding of the auditory message being presented. Remind a student using tactile visuals that the item(s) are to be used as support tools and not for play.
Providing Consistent Visuals
Provide consistent visuals to help learners increase comprehension of auditory messages. Determine which type of visuals a student positively responds to (e.g., tactile objects, showing a picture, sign language messages, pointing or gestures) and use that method for uniformity.
Prioritizing Auditory Needs
Use Auditory Sandwich when introducing novel vocabulary. Providing a visual context for new words offers a student with hearing loss opportunities to focus on listening with reinforcement of language, which builds confidence when learning new word meanings.


Small Group Listening Support
To support a student that recently began using hearing aids and is in the beginning stages of building auditory skills, a kindergarten teacher decides to use Auditory Sandwiching during small group work where new vocabulary will be introduced. Before implementing the mini-lesson on different exotic animals, the teacher places labeled animal figures into a bag. During the lesson, the teacher describes each animal, presents the related visual, then repeats the label and simple phrase (e.g., “Tortoise. I have a hard shell.”). After, students independently identify each animal using the same descriptive characteristics presented in each Auditory Sandwich.
Reinforcing Listening Comprehension
While providing directions for daily transitions, a teacher notices that a student frequently has difficulty initiating tasks. Since the student is highly distractible, the teacher uses an Auditory Sandwich to guide the student when classroom directions are provided. After stating a direction, such as “Clean up,” the teacher waits 1-2 seconds. When the student does not initiate the task, the teacher demonstrates the sign language symbol for “clean” (e.g., laying one hand flat with palm up, swiping the other hand across it back and forth) to reinforce understanding. The original message is then repeated to offer the student repetition of the task required.
Strengthening Individualized Learning Targets
While conducting daily classroom observations, a teacher notices that a student often has difficulty comprehending prepositions in auditory messages (e.g., above, under, through). To support understanding of these terms, the teacher uses an Auditory Sandwich. First, the teacher states a message without the visual cue (e.g., “Scissors are beneath the rulers.”). Next, the teacher presents the supportive visual for the highlighted preposition (e.g., click [[ | here ]]for samples) to provide multiple means of exposure to the verbal message. Lastly, the original auditory message is repeated for the student to follow. The teacher continues to use consistent visuals with Auditory Sandwiching whenever the student misunderstands a presented preposition in an auditory message.

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