Speech and Language Strategies for Parents & Educators: Articulation

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by Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Pathologist

by Sophia Guarracino, Speech-Language Pathologist

One of the most important points to keep in mind when your child is receiving speech and language services is the importance of carrying over intervention in both the home and school settings. It is ideal for parents, therapists, and educators to work together and discuss the techniques that will be effective for each child. There are everyday strategies that can be incorporated into a child’s daily routine to boost their speech and language skills. In this post, we will focus on articulation.

Articulation: These strategies are intended for teachers and parents of students who have difficulty saying certain sounds.

  • If you cannot understand a student and you have asked them to repeat themselves, it might help to ask the student to show you or say it in a different way. For example, ask the student to write the word if they are able to do so.
  • If the student’s response contains a known sound error, it’s important to repeat what the child said with an appropriate model.  For example, if the child says ‘nak’ for snake, you would say, “Oh, you want the snake.” This way you are not focusing on the error or calling negative attention to the child, but providing an appropriate model.
  • With younger children bring whatever you are talking about closer to your mouth so that the child is more apt to focus on speech production.
  • If you hear a consistent speech sound error, use written text to increase the child’s ability to see, hear, and be aware of that sound. For example, ask the student to find all of the words containing the error sound in a page of a story. Make this a routine in your classroom so that no student is singled out.
  • If you have a student who is able to make a sound correctly some of the time when they know an adult is listening, set up a non-verbal cue with that child to let them know that you are listening (e.g., put your hand on the student’s shoulder before you call on them to read aloud.)
  • Highlight words in their own writing or in classroom worksheets that contain sounds that the child misarticulates.
  • Reading aloud and keying into the words with the sound is very important
  • Use stories with a lot of emphasis on the sound – help to sound out written words.
  • Find pictures together in books or stories that have the sound.
  • Talk about how different sounds are made with your mouth.
  • Gradually lead up to the sound and show how it is said differently from the sound used incorrectly.
  • Associate the sound with an object, action, or noise to help practice it in a fun way.
  • Develop a secret code with the sound to use at home.
  • Play ” I’m thinking of a word that starts with: st, sp, thr,” (identify pictures in books).
  • Make matching picture cards with the sounds to play Go Fish, Memory or Lotto.
  • Find objects with the sound/ start a collection.
  • Play “I’m thinking of a word that starts (or ends) with ______(make the sound).”