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Speech Understanding and hearing the difference between noisy (voiced) and quiet (voiceless) sounds  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


These activities help your child develop understanding of noisy (voiced) and quiet (voiceless) sounds. When we talk, some of the sounds we use make our vocal cords in our voice box vibrate. These are called noisy (voiced) sounds. When sounds are made without your vocal cords vibrating, these are called quiet (voiceless) sounds. You can find you voice box by feeling for the lump in the front of your neck. Place your hand gently on this lump and make a 'zzzzzz' sound (like a bee buzzing). You should feel your voice box vibrate. Now make a 'ssssss' sound (like a snake hissing) with your hand in the same place - you will not feel the vibration this time.

Using noisy/quiet sounds appropriately when we are talking help to distinguish the meaning between words such as pig/big and ten/den. Sometimes when children develop their speech sound system they have a process called voicing - this is where noisy sounds are used instead of quiet sounds, e.g. saying 'gar' instead of 'car'. Devoicing is the process where children use quiet sounds instead of noisy sounds, e.g. 'poat' instead of 'boat'. Devoicing is much less common than voicing.

When working on developing noisy/quiet sounds, it is best to consult a speech and language therapist to guide you through activities suitable for your child.

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Phonology/Articulation:Listening to Sounds (Auditory Discrimination)
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Understanding the concepts of noisy/quiet

1. Before working on the activities below, make sure your child has an understand of the concepts of noisy/quiet. Click on link under materials section for activities relating to these concepts. 


Noisy/Quiet Speech Sounds

- printable noisy/quiet symbols

- sound picture cards - you may have a set of phonic cards given to you by your speech and language therapist or education setting (e.g. Jolly Phonics, Nuffield Dyspraxia Resources) - Use these resources if you have them. If you do not have a set of phonic resources you can use click here to for a printable resource.

- optional - you could use noisy/quiet characters from Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves.

1. Print and cut out the noisy/quiet symbols and sound picture cards.

2. Explain to the child that some sounds we say are noisy and others are quiet. Explain that when we say the loud sounds, we use our voice, but when we say the quiet ones, we don't. Find your voice box by placing you hand on the lump in the front of your neck. Practice saying quiet and noisy sounds and feel the 'buzzing' when you make noisy sounds.

3. Choose a sound picture card and practice saying it and place it on the noisy or quiet symbol.

4. You could carry this activity out alongside a turn taking game, having a go at sorting the sound before taking a turn at the game.



Once your child is able to recgonise the differene between noisy and quiet sounds you can move on to:

1. Listening to the difference between sounds in words

2. To add link - production of sounds



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