As the start of the school year draws near—or has already arrived of some of us.  Here are five tips on articulation carryover that I always share with teachers.  These easy approaches will help teachers and families support generalization of articulation skills:

  1. Model clear articulation: The more the student hears a sound correctly, the more likely they’ll say it correctly. Look for opportunities to model target sounds, especially during small group activities. When modeling for a student, say the sound clearly and naturally.
  2. Focus on speech sounds: Emphasize the sound a letter makes rather than the letter itself. For example, remind a student to say the “shh” sound, rather the “s” “h” sound.
  3. Give specific feedback: Give students’ specific feedback for saying sounds correctly. For example, “Wow! I heard TWO sounds when you said the word “spot!” I heard “ssssss” and “puh”! Avoid criticizing a student for saying a sound incorrectly in front of other students. Speaking with confidence is important and providing too much negative feedback—especially in a large group—can make them overly self-conscious.
  4. Ask for repetition: Asking a student to repeat teaches them that speaking clearly is important without putting them on the spot to say a specific sound correctly. For example: “I didn’t understand, can you say that again?” “What you have to say is important, can you repeat that?” If you still can’t understand the student, encourage them to use a communication strategy like saying the word in a sentence to give context or writing it down. Honor the communication even if articulation is incorrect.
  5. Highlight target sounds: Underline or highlight the target sound in advance for read aloud or homework activities to reinforce the student’s awareness of the sound in context. This is also a great carryover activity for older students to complete independently.


(ASHA, Written by Kylie Grace Davis )