MQ Reading Clinic: Noise in classrooms

  • 10:00 AM
  • Robert Menzies College, Macquarie University, North Ryde.

Macquarie University Reading Clinic Professional Development Workshops


Guest presenter Dr Kiri Mealings will present a one-day workshop on how the acoustics of classrooms and open plan innovative learning spaces affect primary school children’s speech perception abilities.

Time, Date and Location:
10:00 am – 4 pm
Thursday, 19th October 2017
Robert Menzies College Seminar Room

About the speaker:
Dr Kiri Mealings graduated from her PhD in Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney, in 2017 for a thesis entitled “An investigation into how the acoustics of open plan and enclosed classrooms affect speech perception for Kindergarten children”. Kiri’s earlier studies include an Associate Diploma in Music Australia (Flute) in 2008 through the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) in 2011 at Macquarie University, and First Class Honours in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2012, also at Macquarie University. Kiri is currently working as a postdoctoral research scientist on the auditory processing disorders team at the National Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney.

About the workshop:
The workshop has three main parts:

  • Part 1
    • Introduction to classroom acoustics and speech intelligibility, and the effect of noise on children and teachers
  • Part 2
    • Introduction to open plan classrooms/innovative learning environments
    • Description of four case study classrooms found in Sydney (including how the acoustics of the classrooms affect 5- to 6-year-old children’s ability to hear their teacher’s speech, and how the teachers perceive these classrooms in relation to noise, ease of speech communication, and vocal health)
  • Part 3
    • Group activity – identifying the weaknesses and strengths of your own classrooms, and discussion on how the environments can be improved
    • Practical activity on how to measure noise and reverberation in the classroom.

Workshop Outcomes:
By the end of this workshop, attendees should be able to:

  • Better understand how noise affects children and teachers
  • Understand the pros and cons of innovative learning environments
  • Know how to measure and monitor noise levels in the classroom
  • Understand how to design and work in classrooms so as to minimise noise levels/reverberation, and make them conducive environments for children’s learning.

Who should/should not attend? Any prerequisites, assumed/required knowledge:
This workshop will be useful for people who work in primary school classrooms; for example, teachers, principals, special education teachers, itinerant teachers of the deaf, audiologists, speech pathologists, classroom designers, parents. No previous knowledge on acoustics is needed.

Preparation before the workshop:
Prior to the workshop, attendees are encouraged to send in a floor plan of the classroom they work in for the group activity. Attendees are also encouraged to bring their iPad (if they own one) for the practical activity.

Course Materials:
A course workbook including all materials will be provided on the day.

Recommended Readings:
“Jones, K., Castles, A., & Kohnen, S. (2011). Subtypes of developmental reading disorders: Recent developments and directions for treatment.”
A PDF copy of this paper will be emailed out to all registrants one week before the workshop.

For more information and registration pls see website:


Leave a Reply