Categorisation

Choose the classification system you would like to use:

Social

Facebook

Speech Hear if "s" is said correctly or with the tongue forward  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.

Description:

The child will be able to discriminate alveolar (tongue behind the teeth) versus dental (tongue touching the teeth) production of the sound /s/ in another person's speech, for single sounds.

Phonology/Articulation:Consonants
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
If you are having problems with logging into the site, please email us on support@commtap.org or give us a call.
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Information about a 'tricky' sound

Mirror

In order to be able to say the sound correctly, the child needs to understand how it is produced, and to be able to hear whether another person is producing it accurately or not.

1. Explain that you are going to practice working on the sound 's'.

2. Explain that when we say the sound 's', we normally put the tip of our tongue behind the top teeth at the front and that it rests on a small bump (called the "alveolar ridge").

3. Ask the child to put their tongue tip behind their teeth and try to find this bump. Ask them to look in the mirror and notice that the tongue tip is not visible when doing this.

4. Explain that when some people try to say the sound, they have difficulty putting their tongue tip in exactly the right place, and instead, they put it on the back of the teeth or stick it out between the top and bottom teeth.

5. Ask the child to try putting their tongue tip on the back of their teeth and think about how this feels different. Ask them to look in the mirror and notice that the tongue tip is visible when doing this.

6. Explain that when you say the sound 's', it sounds different according to where your tongue tip is.

7. Explain that you are going to make the sound 's' with your tongue on the alveolar ridge. Ask the child to listen while you do it. Make the sound a few times.

8. Explain that you are going to make the sound 's' with your tongue on the back of your top teeth. Ask the child to listen while you do it. Make the sound a few times. Ask them to think how the sound is different.

If the child has extreme difficulty in locating his/her alveolar ridge, encourage him/her to place his/her tongue on the back of the top teeth, and then slide it backwards slightly.

Listen to the sound

Pencils and paper

1. Explain that you are going to help the child practise listening to whether you say the sound 's' with your tongue on the alveolar ridge or on the back of the top teeth.

2. Ask the child to draw two faces, one with a smiley mouth and one with the tongue protruding, something like this:

3. Explain that the smiling face is to represent the sound when the tongue tip is placed on the alveolar ridge (and so is not visible), while the face with the tongue out represents the sound when the tongue is placed against the teeth (and so is visible).

4. Say the two versions of the sounds randomly and ask the child to indicate which sound you are saying. A list of activities to do this in is provided below, but please feel free to use your own ideas.

A comment on accents: the sound 's', when it is produced with the tongue on the teeth sounds a bit like the way 'th' as in 'thin' is pronounced in some accents (IPA: /q/). However, in some accents, including East London, the way 'th' is pronounced is identical to the way that 'f' is pronounced.

Make sure you are asking the child to listen to a difference between dental 's' (tongue on the teeth) and alveolar 's' (tongue on the alveolar ridge), rather than 's' and 'f'.

Show the face

Use pictures like these:

Lollypop stick (or pencil etc.)

Cut out the pictures and stick them back-to-back with a lollypop stick in the centre to make a handle. The child shows the appropriate face according to the sound s/he hears.

See the activities above before doing this one.

Tally marks

Use pictures like these:

Paper

Pen or pencil

Divide a piece of paper or a small whiteboard into two columns. Draw versions of the faces, one at the top of each column.

See the activities above before doing this one.

Boxes and counters

Use pictures like these:

Two boxes

Set of counters

Use the faces to label two different boxes.

See the activities above before doing this one.

Tower of blocks

Use pictures like these:

Small blocks/bricks

See the activities above before doing this one.

If you find the Commtap site useful, please fill out a review of it on EdTech impact. This really helps us to get funding to continue running the site. Thank you!

Publicity

Ads on this page are provided by Google Adsense - and their presence does not imply any endorsement by Commtap. Report a problem with an ad on this page. Log in (for free) to avoid seeing ads.