Strategy

Checks for Auditory Understanding

Checks for Auditory Processing

UDL 3.3 UDL 6.3

Checks for Auditory Understanding is a progress monitoring strategy in which a student confirms that information presented auditorily was received accurately (e.g., student discriminated between like-sounding words, heard all steps within a direction). After auditory information is presented (e.g., directions, read alouds, group discussion), a teacher asks the student a comprehension question to check if the information was processed (e.g., “Hudson, what are the three steps for today’s assignment?” / “Shea, which partner shares first?”). If the student responds correctly, instruction continues. If the student missed or misheard the information, the teacher reiterates it (e.g., with reduced pace, by breaking down directions into smaller chunks, providing acoustic highlighting of a target word/detail that was missed). After, the teacher checks a second time to confirm that the student processed the information. Check for Auditory Understanding supports students’ auditory development and helps build self-advocacy skills by promoting self-reflection (e.g., identifying when clarification is needed).

Implementation Tips

Using Familiar Auditory Cues
Use familiar phrases when prompting students to reflect on information that was received auditorily in order to help a student prepare and focus before sharing their thinking. Choose cues that lead the student to respond with detail (e.g., “Can you please repeat my directions?”).
Pre-Planning
Review daily lessons and pre-plan specific areas to implement Checks for Auditory Understanding in order to support a student when listening might be more challenging (e.g., when presenting less familiar vocabulary, during group discussions, when background noise will be apparent).
Introducing Checks for Auditory Understanding
Introduce the strategy using familiar auditory routines with consistent directions (e.g., preparing for lunch: put away folder, grab lunch box, line up) to help the student get used to the monitoring process. Over time, use the strategy to monitor understanding during more difficult academic and auditory situations.
Reducing Stigma
Apply this strategy as a classroom routine (e.g., asking a variety of students to confirm information presented auditorily) in order to reduce stigma monitoring a specific student’s ability to hear continuously. This adaptation also provides an additional repetition of information for students with hearing loss.
Reiterating Key Points (Acoustic Highlighting)
Reiterate information at a reduced pace to support understanding of content presented auditorily. Use acoustic highlighting to place emphasis on key points or target words (e.g., “We’re going to put that paper under the table.”). Provide additional processing time (e.g., 3-10 seconds) when needed.
Providing Specific Prompts
Provide a student with specific prompts prior to Checking for Auditory Understanding to help build the student’s self-awareness and self-advocacy skills (e.g., “I am going to tell you three steps.”). If all of the prompted information is not heard, the student is expected to ask for the information to be repeated.
Prioritizing Checks for Auditory Understanding
Prioritize when to apply Checks for Auditory Understanding to minimize overuse of the strategy. Use the strategy when background noise is present (e.g., group work, the windows are open, noisy AC/heating units are on), or if a student is spending extensive time listening (e.g., multi-step directions, read alouds).

Examples

Providing Directions in a Loud Environment
As students are packing up, a teacher makes an announcement to the class about a change in the dismissal routine. Since the classroom is noisy with students moving about and packing up materials, the teacher uses Checks for Auditory Understanding to monitor a particular student’s awareness (e.g., easily distractible, presents hearing loss). The teacher asks the student a comprehension question to check if the announcement can be repeated. When the student cannot, the teacher repeats the information with acoustic highlighting (e.g., “There is no after-school program today.”) and then checks again to make sure the message was received.
Proactive Prompting with Checks for Auditory Understanding
Before administering a math assessment, a teacher explains that students will transition into a new follow-up assignment once exams are completed. To support a student with hearing loss, the teacher uses visual cues and explicit prompts to proactively prepare the student to listen (e.g., points to ears, announces how many steps are about to be stated, holds up fingers to represent the number of steps) and then presents the expectations. After, the teacher asks the student a comprehension question to Check for Auditory Understanding (e.g., “Kenley, can you repeat the directions?”). The student uses previous cues and prompts to recall the steps needed to complete the task.
Building Self-Advocacy Skills
During a class read aloud with limited visuals, a teacher uses Checks for Auditory Understanding to ensure that a student with hearing loss is comprehending the text and following along with the content. While pre-planning for this lesson, the teacher flagged certain pages that included unfamiliar vocabulary as well as like-sounding words that might be difficult to discriminate (e.g., seventy/seventeen, specific/pacific). While reading these parts, the teacher checks-in with the student to monitor understanding (e.g., “What did you hear?”). When the student has difficulty answering or responds with “I don’t know,” the teacher prompts the student to develop self-advocacy questions (e.g., “What question can you ask to figure this out?”).

Related Strategies