Teaching with Anime- A Silent Voice and Sound! Euphonium
The most obvious use of A Silent Voice in a classroom setting would be as part of a unit on bullying and the consequences of bullying. However, I’ll be leaving that to educators with far more experience in teaching that area. This is not to say that bullying is not a serious issue in education today, it most certainly is, I just don’t feel I have the skills and knowledge to craft such a lesson. My use of A Silent Voice will be of a much more practical nature.
Many teachers, myself included, use some sort of introductory set, or “do now” as I like to call it. It often takes the form of some sort of question or questions. I use these questions to review the homework or material covered the previous day as a way to determine the extent of student learning and if I need to review any of the previously covered material. Another way I will use the question is to see what the students already know about the topic I am about to cover in class that day. This way I can get a feel for how advanced or basic I can go on a particular lesson. The final way I use a “do now” question is as a way to garner student interest in a topic that they may not be familiar with or all that interested in. This is precisely how I would use A Silent Voice. Specifically, I would use Shoko Nishimiya’s deafness as a way to introduce a lesson on human hearing.
Patient 1- Shoko Nishimiya
Shoko Nishimiya is an 18-year-old girl who has been deaf since early childhood. Shoko Nishimiya can hear loud sounds with the use of a hearing aid but is unable to comprehend speech. Shoko Nishimiya also has a speech impediment, but no other symptoms beyond trouble speaking. None of the other members of her family have any hearing problems. What type of deafness does Shoko Nishimya have and what if any possible treatments are there?
Patient 2- Reina Kousaka
Reina is a 16-year-old girl who came to you complaining of ringing in the ears and difficultly listening to her friends while in the cafeteria during lunch time. She is a talented musician who has been practicing since a young age. What is the name of Reina’s condition, what caused it, and what if anything can she do about it?
I don’t actually expect the students to know the answer to any of the questions, but it will spark their interest and some might share stories about their own experiences with hearing loss. I will remind the students to remember these two patients as I go through the lesson. The lesson itself will explain how the human sense of hearing works, including some of the more common causes of hearing problems. I find it useful and fun to cover not just how the sense of hearing works, but also some of the common hearing problems, as it makes the lesson more interesting to students. Of course, the added bonus is that it might just get some of the students to stop listening to their music through headphones with the volume turned up so loud. The lesson ends with quizzing the students to see if they managed to figure out the problems and solutions for each patient.
Patient 1- Shoko Nishimiya- nonsyndromic post lingual hearing loss inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. There are no known treatments at this time, but there are accommodations that can be made to assist Shoko Nishimya in living a full and productive life.
Patient- 2– Reina Kousaka- Tinnitus is usually caused by repeated exposure to loud noises over a long period of time. There are some vitamins and medications that “might” help with the condition, but their effects are variable.
Now I and probably many people thought that there wasn’t much in the way of real treatment for tinnitus, but a recent study published in January has given hope to many with ringing in their ears. Essentially what happens in tinnitus is that damage to the hairs of the inner ear causes other cells in the nervous system to become overactive, creating the constant ringing sound that the afflicted individuals hear. Doctors have created a device that delivers specific sounds along with a small electrical charge to lower the activity of the overactive cells. Patients in the study saw a significant reduction in volume of their tinnitus, and while the results where not permanent, and the ringing returned to pretreatment levels after a week, it is still a very promising start. There is another trial scheduled for August and it is probably a few years until the treatment is approved. I, for one, cannot wait.
Experimental treatments aside the main concern for Reina is not damaging her hearing any further. She can do this by wearing ear plugs or other devices to dampen the sound reaching her inner ear.
I know it’s not much, but sometimes less is more, and I hope some of the teachers out there find this useful for their own lessons.