Speech development involves many different muscles and the ability to understand audio information clearly. Ear infections and frequent colds damage the audio-vocal connections and under-developed spoken language often leads to other learning difficulties and poor social skills. The sound of our voice is mainly transmitted to the ear by the vibration of the bones of our skull, a process called bone conduction.
Alternatively, when sound waves in the air enter our ears, this is called air conduction. The sound is then analyzed by the brain, which directs response to the voice. There are constant exchanges of information happening between the ears, the brain, and the voice.
This auditory feedback loop is sometimes disrupted—usually because of cognitive or emotional reasons—leading to a breakdown in listening and eventually in verbalizations as well. This breakdown can impact our vocal productions' rhythm, tone, or intensity.
By improving the relationship between the ear, brain, and voice, the Tomatis® Method also helps individuals with language skills. An important foundation for language learning is phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is our ability to recognize and manipulate the sounds used in language. The sounds of language include a complex system of pronunciation, rate, rhythm, and tone. For some, mastering such aspects of language is challenging and sometimes occurs at a slower rate than their peers.
Instruction of phonological awareness is essential to language learning and there’s a way to make this process more efficient. By training the brain through air and bone conduction, the Tomatis® Method promotes enhanced perception of the fundamental sounds of language, which solidifies the foundation for further language learning.