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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 74  |  Page : 48--55

Noise levels in an urban Asian school environment

Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Correspondence Address:
Karen M.K. Chan
Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.149580

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Background noise is known to adversely affect speech perception and speech recognition. High levels of background noise in school classrooms may affect student learning, especially for those pupils who are learning in a second language. The current study aimed to determine the noise level and teacher speech-to-noise ratio (SNR) in Hong Kong classrooms. Noise level was measured in 146 occupied classrooms in 37 schools, including kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and special schools, in Hong Kong. The mean noise levels in occupied kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and special school classrooms all exceeded recommended maximum noise levels, and noise reduction measures were seldom used in classrooms. The measured SNRs were not optimal and could have adverse implications for student learning and teachers' vocal health. Schools in urban Asian environments are advised to consider noise reduction measures in classrooms to better comply with recommended maximum noise levels for classrooms.


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