What's the problem with a noisy classroom?

by FS&TS

By Christiana Mullins CCC-SLP

One role of speech-language-hearing professionals is to “facilitate access to full participation in communication, including the elimination of societal, cultural, and linguistic barriers.” Following is information and tips for school-based speech-language pathologists who provide push-in services or who collaborate with school teachers



A noisy classroom can impact a student’s ability to perform well in the following areas:

  • comprehension of speech

  • ability to read and spell

  • appropriate classroom behavior

  • ability to concentrate and attend to tasks

  • comprehension in the classroom

Who is impacted by a noisy classroom environment?

  • students with hearing loss

  • students with learning disabilities and speech and language impairments

  • students learning English as a second language

  • students with attention difficulties

This can also put strain on teachers’ voices, potentially causing strain, fatigue, and damage to the vocal folds.

The following are tips to reduce noise in order to improve classroom communication

  • Use rugs or carpeting on the floor

  • Turn off equipment that is not being used

  • Keep the classroom door closed

  • Educate students on the impact of noise in the classroom and explain expectation for noise levels

  • Hang noise-absorbing materials on the walls such as flags and corkboard, and curtains on the windows