Building Auditory Tracking

Speech Tracking

UDL 3.3

Building Auditory Tracking is a listening comprehension support in which a student is directly taught and encouraged to follow the vocalizations of multiple speakers in a large group setting (e.g., whole group lessons, discussion forums) through the use of prompting and redirection. In order to Build Auditory Tracking, a teacher prompts a student with hearing loss or a student that demonstrates difficulty focusing using cues, such as “It’s Billy’s turn. We should all be looking at Billy now,” to allow students to transition their attention from one speaker to another. While Building Auditory Tracking, a teacher might also ask comprehension questions based on information shared by another student (e.g., “Travis, where did Jade say she went over Winter Break?”) in order to monitor student comprehension and optimize the auditory listening experience. A teacher can also reference a visual that supports Building Auditory Tracking (e.g., eyes on speaker, body towards speaker, quiet hands).

Implementation Tips

Auditory Tracking Visual Chart
Offer a student with hearing loss a visual chart displaying the expectations for Auditory Tracking. Include visuals for watching and facing the speaker, or print this [[ | free visual support ]], or a simple “Stop, Look, Listen” chart with coinciding images, can be used as quick reference during instructional periods.
Planned Seating
Plan out optimal seating to support Building Auditory Tracking by seating a student with hearing loss in the middle of the classroom, slightly to one side (e.g., if students are sitting in rows). With this planned seat, the student will have optimal access to sound and can easily turn their body or head to follow multiple speakers.
Introducing Auditory Tracking Skills
Reduce the group size when introducing Auditory Tracking in order to reduce the number of distractions associated with following multiple speakers in a larger group setting (e.g., background noise, students talking over one another). Use this introduction as an opportunity to practice using supporting visuals.
Reiterating Student Utterances
Repeat responses provided by other students during whole group lessons. Despite a student’s ability to track speakers, a student with hearing loss may continue to require repetition of information to access and comprehend student-generated responses (e.g., sitting too far away to pick up sound with hearing devices).
Building Comprehension
Ask comprehension questions based on what a speaker has stated (e.g., “Where did Sarah say she is going?”) to help a student with hearing loss remain engaged during whole class and small group discussions. Use the student’s response to determine how much of the message was able to be retained.
Reinforcing Auditory Tracking
Reinforce when a student successfully tracks a speaker (e.g., moving their head/body to face the speaker). Use phrases, such as “Wow, I like how Kalen is watching and listening to Jill,” to help develop the behaviors needed when Building Auditory Tracking and to direct other students to follow.
Building A Routine
Embed Building Auditory Tracking into large and small group class discussions to help all students remain engaged without continually singling out a student with hearing loss. Use phrases, such as “All eyes on Kyla,” or “Let’s listen to what Jeremiah has to say,” to consistently prompt students to look at their peers.


Supporting Read Aloud Discussions
Before a whole class read aloud, a teacher strategically seats a student that wears cochlear implants in the second row of the class towards the left edge of the rug for optimal auditory access (e.g., to the teacher and when scanning the class when tracking student speakers). After the read aloud, the class works together to generate a retell. The teacher embeds Auditory Tracking prompts to support the student with hearing loss as well as any students that require redirection (e.g., “Let’s all put our eyes on Cynthia and hear what she’s thinking!”). After noticing that some students have not yet focused on the student speaker, the teacher points to the “eyes on speaker” image on a [[ | visual chart ]] for added support.
Building Comprehension
While planning how to celebrate the 100th Day of School, the group discussion becomes noisy and disorganized since students are excited. Instead of quieting down the class since this is a fun, non-instructional time, the teacher decides to ask comprehension questions regarding what is being discussed to help support students Building Auditory Tracking (e.g., “What did Corey say we should make?” / “What was the last idea we heard from Sophie?”). The teacher observes a student with hearing loss to monitor if the student responds correctly, and if they are able to bring their attention to track where those students are located (e.g., noticing student’s eye gaze, recognizing if the student turned head/body).

Related Strategies