Auditory repetitions neurologically set up the brain to understand what has been heard. Experience shapes the brain!


Caution: You must have a speaker with your computer!






  • Install a text-to-speech program on your computer and let the computer speak your e-mail as you read it. There are several such programs available. A free one is available from http://www.readplease.com
  • Listen to recordings of speeches where you know the content by heart. Have a friend record a poem or a speech whose cadence you can recognize and listen to it over and over. If you know what to expect, you can train yourself to recognize the speech sounds in open-set situations.
  • Of course, you can always practice listening to pre-recorded messages on the telephone. Here are some toll-free numbers that each have a variety of pre-recorded public service messages:

  • 1-800-829-4477 -- IRS 

  • 1-800-772-1213 -- Social Security

  • 1-800-555-8355 -- General

  • 1-800-872-7245 -- Amtrak

  • 1-800-366-1655 -- American Dietetic Association

  • 1-700-555-4141

  • Finally, there are audiobooks and CDs that can be borrowed from the library or purchased. Recorded books can be purchased from http://www.recordedbooks.com. When reviewing such items for listening practice, it is important to select those without background music. For example, some CI adult users reported that these CDs provide excellent listening practice:

  • Dr. Phil's Life Strategies

  • Bill O'Reilly's The No-Spin Zone

  • William J. Bennett's Book of Virtues

  • Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence read by Christophher Gaze

Please keep in mind that the viewpoint of these CDs are not being recommended. Should any CI users have other CDs or audiotapes that they have enjoyed and can recommend, please contact ellen@AuditoryVerbalTraining.com and she will add them to this list.

This is a contribution from Susan Boswell, a cochlear implant user for 1 and 1/2 years at the time she shared this:

As a general rule, I've found Recorded Books (www.recordedbooks.com) to have a good selection of unabridged books with no background music. I've had particular success with young adult fiction books/teen readers, because the narrators seem to talk slower than those who read adult fiction. For example, I enjoyed "Memories of Summer," "Island of the Blue Dolphins," and "Will" by Gary Paulson.

In addition, try books in which the narrator does not try to act out the story and take on the speech mannerisms of the character in the story. I enjoyed "Jacob Have I Loved," but the narrator took on the character's voices, making it more challenging at first.

I'm told that non-fiction books are generally easier than fiction. I like to listen to books in the car during my long commute. This can sometimes be challenging, and if I'm struggling with a book at first, I try direct audio input by connecting the implant to the CD/tape player with a patch cord. Later on, I may be able to enjoy the book without needing direct audio input.

And here is a contribution from Paul Lurie, a CI user for 6 years at the time of this suggestion:

I find the best way to listen to "books on tape" is to use the Audible service at www.audible.com. This service (for a monthly fee) allows you to download the latest books, NPR programs such as Fresh Air and This American Life, the Wall Street Journal etc.

Most important is that these can be downloaded either to CDs or to a free with the service "MP3 type" (not MP3) player called the Otis. It is about the size of a small package of cigarettes. It takes small memory cards which can contain entire 8 hour books. There are other available MP3 players listed on the site. Considering that CD is a cheap higher quality than tape format, it is the way to go. Tape is not supported since it would be too cumbersome.

You can listen to these devices either through a walkman type patch cords. I prefer with the Cochlear 3G to use headphones or a sillouette adapter (slips over the ear) and the telecoil setting. The Otis also comes with an adapter that will fit into a tape player for use in an automobile radio.

Disadvantages to Audible over books on tape from the public library. The cost. If you can afford it, the variety, the convenience and the quality is worth it.

Postscript note from Ellen: Research clearly shows that when you are neurologically anticipating what you are going to hear, you set yourself up for hearing/understanding. Expecting the brain to hear is the neurology of hearing.



Ellen A. Rhoades, EdS, LSLS Cert. AVT
1.954.370.7708 (voice/text)
1.561.504.4349 (voice/text/facetime)

This Web site was updated on April 30, 2013

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