The tone of a teacher’s voice can have a significant effect on students’ actions and motivation, according to a study conducted by scholars at the Universities of Essex and Reading. Hundreds of children between the ages of 10 and 16 participated in the study, and the results showed that a positive learning environment can be established and cooperation can be gained by using a tone of voice that is both encouraging and understanding.
Children were asked to rate its significance on a number of dimensions, including their own sense of competence, emotions, trust, and willingness to cooperate. The study found that when students were confronted by a teacher who sounded strict, they were more likely to act defiantly, which had a negative impact on their overall well-being. In addition, they were less likely to speak up about issues like bullying. The opposite was found to be true when a teacher used a voice that was more encouraging and positive-sounding; this led to greater student cooperation and a more enjoyable learning environment.
Professor Netta Weinstein of Reading University and Professor Silke Paulmann of Essex University, who both worked on the study, made the following statements: “We often think about what teachers say to their students, but we rarely talk about how they say it. But the tone of voice teachers use really matters, and the way we modulate our voice can have profound effects on listeners.”
The study’s authors are hopeful that their findings will have an impact on teacher preparation and ultimately lead to better student outcomes. To better understand where improvements can be made, future research may investigate the effect of tone of voice in live classroom situations.