Author(s): Banks Russell E., Cantor Cutiva Lady Catherine , Hunter Eric J.
Intro: Teachers’ voice problems are widespread and can influence the teaching-learning process and may be a factor in the deterioration of students’ academic performance. Voice amplification systems for teachers has been a common response to voice problems in teachers, both as a preventative strategy and part of the treatment for those with voice disorders. The purpose of this research was to: (1) determine the relationship between self-reported vocal fatigue and self-reported teachers’ use of sound field amplification in the classroom; and (2) identify the factors influencing the use of amplification.\nMethods: Paper and online surveys were completed by teachers throughout the United States. These surveys contained the 19-question Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI), as well as several other questions regarding their health-related conditions and lifestyle habits of respondents. Specifically, work-related factors, including access to and use of vocal amplification systems, which would potentially influence vocal fatigue were reported by teachers in this study. \nResults: Female teachers who used voice amplification or taught grades kindergarten to middle school were more likely to report higher levels of vocal fatigue. Teachers with access to amplification systems were more likely to use them if they were teachers in lower grade levels, who smoked occasionally, drank alcohol frequently, and taught in larger capacity classrooms. \nConclusions: Teachers who reported using amplification systems were more likely to report higher scores of vocal fatigue. While this may seem contradictory to previous studies, results indicate the need for well-adapted amplification systems inside the classrooms in order to reduce the occurrence of voice fatigue among teachers. Finally, the work-related factors associated with the use of amplification systems (e.g. grade level, classroom capacity) may be indicators of adjustments to reduce the occurrence of voice problems among teachers.\n
Name: Prof Eric Hunter
Country: United States