Auditory, Language

How to Use Auditory Bombardment to Increase Vocabulary

I’ve heard various recommendations that to learn a new word, a child who is DHH (deaf or hard of hearing), needs to hear a word between 28-2,000 times. There’s a big difference between hearing a word 28 vs. 2,000 times. Let’s find a middle ground in this wide range of recommendations. Let’s just say that to learn a new word, your child needs to have “a lot” exposures to that word. Auditory Bombardment is the strategy you’re going to use to help your child get a lot of exposures to that new vocabulary word.

So if your goal is to teach your child a new word and your child needs to hear the word as much as possible, how do you do this without going crazy?

Because, seriously, to say the same word over and over again would drive you crazy. To maintain your sanity, you’re going to learn how to use contextual and syntactic variety when using Auditory Bombardment.

(By the way, keep in mind that Auditory Bombardment isn’t the only strategy you should use to increase your child’s vocabulary and enhance language development. All things are better when in balance and that includes strategies to develop language. For more strategies to develop language, check out these posts.)

What’s Auditory Bombardment?

Auditory Bombardment is when there’s a lot of exposures to a word in a variety of contexts and in different types of sentences.

An “exposure” is each time a word is heard so if a child hears a word 3 times that’s 3 exposures to a word. Remember that fluctuating 28-2,000 word exposures statistic? We’re still sticking to our goal of “a lot” of word exposures.

A few quick examples will make Auditory Bombardment much easier to understand. Let’s say the word you’re teaching is “Milk” and it’s breakfast time. You’ll say something like this:

“Your cereal needs some milk. The milk is in the fridge. Let’s open the fridge and get some milk. Here’s the milk. Help me open the milk. Now we’re ready to pour the milk in your cereal.”

You just said “Milk” 6x in variety of sentences ranging in length from “Here’s the milk” to “We’re ready to pour the milk in your cereal.” We also associated milk with the fridge and cereal so that the word “milk” has a deeper meaning.

(BTW, I’ve also heard Auditory Bombardment referred to as Auditory Stimulation. Auditory Bombardment is also used in interventions for articulation, phonological processes, and sentence structures.)

With your younger kiddos, you’ll want to use more short sentences and “pepper in” the longer sentences. You’re using shorter sentences so that it’s easier for your young child to identify and recognize the word.

Keep in mind that you want your child to have a variety of language and listening experiences, so while you’re specifically using short sentences in Auditory Bombardment with younger kiddos….don’t limit your child’s language exposures to only 3 word sentences. The more auditory experiences a child who is DHH has, the longer sentences they will say.

Make It Easier with Two Strategies at Once

Auditory Bombardment works great when used simultaneously with strategies like Acoustic Highlighting. With Acoustic Highlighting, the sentence “Let’s put milk in your cereal” changes to “Let’s put… milk… in your cereal.” Check out this post for tips & a video tutorial on Acoustic Highlighting.

Have you used Auditory Bombardment to teach a new word? What’s the success you’ve seen?

Check out our other posts on Listening and Spoken Language strategies.

Auditory Bombardment is a strategy you can use to teach language without using any flashcards, books, or apps. Click To Tweet

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