Tips for Teaching a Child with Cochlear Implant

Updated: Nov 1

Tips for the Teacher

  • Maintain a communication notebook between school and home with regular entries.

  • Talk naturally, not too fast or too slow.

  • Project your voice, but do not shout.

  • Do not talk with your back turned to the class

  • Try not to move around too much while talking

  • Make sure that child can see your face clearly when you are speaking

  • Make sure your classroom has adequate lighting.

  • Be aware that the sunlight coming in through the windows can make lipreading and watching visual cues more difficult.

  • Do not block your face with hands, books or other items while talking

  • Keep in mind that child hear best on their implant side.

  • Come up with a fun, secret way your student can let you know they do not understand, such as putting a certain item on desk or using hand positions.

Tips to Help student comprehension:

  • Clearly introduce a new topic when the subject of conversation is changing.

  • Summarize key points given by classmates.

  • Write words, date, assignments and other important information on the board.

  • Provide a list of vocabulary or other assignments for the child to learn at home prior to class discussions.

  • Point or say the name of each child who contributes to a discussion so the child can identify whom to focus on.

  • Repeat or rephrase comments or questions to the entire class before responding or calling on another child.

  • Use visual cues such as body language and props, to allow the child a second opportunity to receive the message you are communicating.

Tips for seating

  • If possible, allow the child to have flexible seating so that they can move to the optimal hearing location for the different activities.

  • Sit the child in front during assemblies.

  • If the student uses FM system, give the microphone to the person speaking.

  • Seat children in a horseshoe or circle during group activities.

  • Seat the child away from windows.

Tips for a quieter classroom

  • Keep in mind that herd, smooth surfaces reflect sound and make listening more difficult.

  • Use a carpeted classroom, if possible.

  • Cover hard, reflective surfaces with sound-absorption materials such as cork boards and cloth hangings.

  • Put tennis balls on chair legs that sits on hard surfaces.

  • Put drapes on windows.

  • Keep the classroom door shut to eliminate noise from the hallway.

Tips for equipment maintenance

  • Identify the staff member who is responsible for doing a sound check of cochlear implant as well as checking FM system (if applicable) ear morning

  • Verify that the child's sound processor is set appropriately, check the program number, volume, sensitivity, and battery drainage status.

  • After the equipment function has been verified, perform a daily listening check using the Ling 6 sound test.

  • Annual in-service training is recommended for all educators who work with the child regarding proper use and care of the child's speech processor.

  • If the child uses FM system, remember to turn off your FM transmitter during classroom activities.


  • Teach the child to indicate if he/she does not understand and provide them with compensatory strategies to use, such as I didn't hear that, and I don't understand.

  • Teach ancillary staff members to notice indications of misunderstanding or confusion.

  • Know that your child will appreciate every effort you make to help him/her in the classroom.

  • Remember that a child with a cochlear implant typically has hearing thresholds between 20 and 45 dB HL across the speech frequencies, which does not mean he/she has normal hearing.


Lovedeep Kholia, M.Sc, Audiology Mr. Lovedeep Kholia, has vast experience in audiology practice. He has been heading Audiology Department of Unicare Speech & Hearing Clinic from past six years and he is working towards spreading awareness regarding hearing loss and its treatment.

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