I am finding it really hard sometimes to understand what is being said during the dictations. I hear a word or set of words, I believe it to be correct and then when grading realize that a particular word that I thought was there really wasn’t or I misheard what was being said. I have tried a couple of different headphones and even purchased the FX sound enhancer to no avail. Does anyone have the same issue and if so any suggestions as to how to improve on my listening skills. Do I just need more time to adjust to learning better listening skills? Not sure what to do. Any help is appreciated.
I remember having the same frustrations as a student. It takes time for your ear to develop and adjust to any sound issues or mumbling. I found listening back to each report and trying to hear the word differences helped my ear get stronger much faster. I would follow that step up by going to the straight answer key and listening to it again. Each time I would pick up a new word I missed before, and that was my ear getting better!
You can try adjusting the treble/bass (on your computer’s sound controls, if your systems allows) and the playback speed to make each recording as clear as possible. I find increased bass helps to cut down any scratchy sounds. Most computers have, at least, present sound settings (for example, Jazz, Vocal, Rock, etc.). I would experiment with those.
You can also slow the playback speed down a bit to try to catch words when a dictator is too quick. You can also try speeding it up, turning the volume up or turning it down, because you never know what will make a word pop.
If a report is very challenging, before you start typing I would listen to the report before transcribing. Then take a deep breath and type out what you can from start to finish, with as many blanks as needed. If you listen to the same spot 3 times and you can’t hear it, leave a blank and keep moving. Transcribe any word you can hear. After this step start the audio over and proofread what you have and see what blanks you can fill in this time around now that you’re starting to adjust to the dictator and hopefully have a sense of what the report is about. Of note, the dictators often repeat words again more clearly later in the report, and this can help you fill in blanks too. After this step go back and look at the blanks that are left. Anywhere that you can hear enough sounds or part-words to try a wildcard search, go for it. I love http://www.mtdictionary.com for medical words and http://www.onelook.com for English words (and sometimes the odd medical term the 1<sup>st</sup> site didn’t have). I find this method the most efficient for transcriptions, but it’s particularly good for difficult reports. You can also search for a similar type of report in http://www.mtsamples.com to see if you can find terminology.
Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
One day, when I was viewing the Facebook Canscribe group activity, I came across a woman who found out she had a hearing impairment while being enrolled in the program. I’m not sure if this is your problem, and I hope that it isn’t. But it would be worth having your hearing checked.
I haven’t had the opportunity to try this myself, but when I was doing some looking online as to how to develop a listening ear, one website suggested to watch videos online with subtitles (think music videos where you quite often can’t understand lyrics).
Like I said I haven’t had a chance to try it myself but it makes sense that it would help. Good luck!