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Abstract

The Chinese word identification and sentence intelligibility are evaluated by grades 3 and 5 students in the classrooms with different reverberation times (RTs) from three primary school under different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). The relationships between subjective word identification and sentence in- telligibility scores and speech transmission index (STI) are analyzed. The results show that both Chinese word identification and sentence intelligibility scores for grades 3 and 5 students in the classroom in- creased with the increase of SNR (and STI), increased with the increase of the age of students, and decreased with the increase of RT. To achieve a 99% sentence intelligibility score, the STIs required for grades 3, grade 5 students, and adults are 0.71, 0.61, and 0.51, respectively. The required objective acoustical index determined by a certain threshold of the word identification test might be underestimated for younger children (grade 3 students) in classroom but overestimated for adults. A method based on the sentence test is more useful for speech intelligibility evaluation in classrooms than that based on the word test for different age groups. Younger children need more favorable classroom acoustical environment with a higher STI than older children and adults to achieve the optimum speech communication in the classroom.
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