Articulation Therapy- Teaching ch and j sounds
Articulation Therapy- Teaching ch and j sounds
The articulation therapy for /ch/ and /j/ sounds involves teaching the correct placement of the articulators (i.e, the oral structures and other structures involved in speech production) through various techniques and stages. Children usually develop the /ch/ and /j/ sounds a bit later, starting at around age four. However, if your child struggles to produce these 2 sounds beyond seven years of age, seek the help of a licensed speech-language pathologist for articulation therapy. Let’s now discuss some simple and easy ways in articulation therapy for teaching the ch and j sounds.
Production of ch and j sounds
The ch and j consonants come under the group known as the affricates. The affricates are produced by a combination of complete obstruction of the airway and then forcing the air through a narrow opening of the mouth. This means that the /ch/ and /j/ sounds are produced with a complete obstruction formed by the tongue tip touching the area called the alveolar ridge, which is right behind the upper front teeth. Then the release of air occurs quickly with friction.
The /ch/ and/ j/ sounds have the same mouth and tongue positionings and differ only in terms of the voicing feature. This means that the sound produced comes from the vibration of the vocal cords.
Steps for teaching ch and j sounds
1) Eliciting the sounds
This is the first step in articulation therapy. We can use innovative and interesting ways to make the child produce the sounds.
- Elicitation of /ch/ sound
Spontaneous production can happen by saying to your child that it is the sound a train makes (choo-choo), or the sound of a sneeze (ah-choo!).
Teach the sound the multisensory way
Teach the sound in a holistic way by combining the sense of listening, seeing, and feeling. Teaching this way makes the learning process fun-filled, faster and helps in remembering it better.
An example of the multisensory style of teaching
- Teach the tongue tip position for the production of /ch/, which is behind the upper front teeth. Have your child hold it there tightly and then ask to quickly release the air like a burst.
- As you say the /ch/ sound you can hold the corners of your lips with your thumb and index finger and draw the fingers towards the center of the mouth.
- Teach your child to do the same while attempting to produce the sound. This is a helpful visual and tactile cue for rounding the lips.
- After a few attempts, you can hold your thumb and index finger near your mouth as a visual cue whenever you want to remind your child while practicing the sound.
- Using a mirror as visual feedback is also very helpful.
- Elicitation of /j/ sound
The /j/ sound differs from /ch/ only in terms of the voicing (vibration of the vocal cords). So providing the tactile cue of feeling the vibration on the throat is an effective tactile cue to jump-start the production of /j/ sound. First, have your child feel your throat while saying the/j/ sound and then their own.
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It’s not over yet. Once your child masters to say the 2 sounds, then it is crucial to do the following steps too.
2) Syllable level
When your child can say the sounds correctly, combine them with the vowels by adding before the sound or after.
- Syllable bag activity
A fun way to do this step is to write down different vowel combinations of the sound (aj, oj,ji) in pieces of paper and then put all of them in a small bag. By taking turns, your child and you can pick up the little pieces and say the syllables. You can come up with creative ideas to make this step interesting.
3) Word level
Once your little one feels confident about the newly learned sounds, you want them to say words that contain those sounds. To get this going, make a list of words that contain the (/ch/, /j/) sound in the beginning, medial, and/or at the end position starting with simple words and slowly increasing the complexity. Instead of just repeating the words or reading, make it fun-filled by practicing the words through fun games. Involve your little one using worksheets or coloring activities.
4) Sentence level
At this stage, the child needs to start using the target words in sentences. Begin with 2-3 worded sentences and slowly increase the length of the sentence and complexity of the sentence by including more than one target word in the sentence.
For example 1) Birds chirp.
2)We went to the beach in a jeep.
3) The magician made the gingerbread man jump in the jelly.
5) Conversation level
Using books is an interesting and encouraging way to practice the newly learned sounds through words and sentences. To begin with the conversation level, ask your child to retell the story in their own words. You can also take up a picture description task that targets the newly learned sounds. Here is the link to a picture description task that targets the /ch/ sound.
- It is important to begin the sound by saying slowly and clearly to your child so that they can understand which sound you are trying to focus on and it would also aid in easy imitation.
- If you notice errors, you can gently correct your child or give him reminders to say the sound correctly. If there are too many errors you will have to practice at word level and sentence level once again.
I hope you got some ideas of how to work on the /ch/ and /j/ sounds. When your child struggles to get it right even after several attempts, consult a speech-language therapist to solve the problem.
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