Articulation Therapy: Teaching /L/ blends

Articulation Therapy: Teaching /L/ blends

The /l/ blends are made by combining a consonant with /l/. Children usually acquire the /l/ blends between 5 and 7 years of age. Often, children with speech sound disorders have difficulty in producing the /l/ blends correctly. This blog will cover activities and steps to teach the /l/ blends.

What are the /l/ blends? Here is a list:

  • Bl blends such as black, blind
  • Cl blends such as class, clear
  • Fl blends such as flag, float
  • Gl blends such as glass, glide
  • Pl blends such as plate, place
  • Sl blends such as slate, slow

How to teach the /l/ blends?

  • First, you will need to teach your child the correct /l/ sound. If they can do it then read on to learn more. If the /l/ sound is unclear, it will be meaningful to start with that first. Here is a blog that will help your child produce the /l/ sounds.
  • To practice the /l/ blends you will need to ask your child to prolong the /l/ sound like /llllll /. Start with the easiest blend that your child can produce. If it’s /bl/ for instance, try producing it like /llllllllbllllblllll/. Then practice the other sounds such as /pl, cl, gl,sl, and fl/ using this strategy.
  • Be consistent with your practice and do it on a daily basis. Try to have at least 15-20 minutes of practice every day. Practice at different levels starting from the simplest (isolation) to the most complex (conversation level). Move to the next level once you have achieved at least 90% accuracy. Following is the order of practice that you can use:
  • Isolation level: Practise the /l/ blends on its own /llllllbllllll/
  • Syllable level: Combining the /l/ blends with a vowel (lllllblllll…lllllbllllllll.)
  • Word level: Use the /l/ blends in the initial, medial and final positions of words (blade, table, etc)
  • Phrase level: Use two or three-word combinations with the /l/ blends (black table)
  • Sentence level: Use the blends in sentences (The black table is old)
  • Conversation level:  Use the blends in connected speech in conversation with different persons.

Some Speech exercises for the /l/ blends

Here are some fun activities to teach your child the blends!

  • Do activities where you say the /l/ blends correctly and incorrectly. Ask your child to spot the difference. Give them rewards such as points for correct responses.
  • When you read books with your child, point out each /l/ blends that they read or hear you say. You can ask your child to repeat these after you. Or you can even ask them some questions. Saying the sounds with /l/ frequently will help them learn it quicker.
  • Practice the targeted blends while playing games such as bingo, memory games, tic-tac-toe, etc. Choose any game that your child loves and use it.
  • Look through books or magazines with your child. Ask them to find pictures of items that have the /l/ blends. Have a “/l/ blends book”. You can then cut out the pictures and paste them into a book.

Here are some ideas:

Bl blends:
  • Blue– Try to find all things blue in the room. Use the word every time you find something blue.
  • Blow– Use the word ‘blow’ every time you blow bubbles using a bubble maker.
Fl blends:
  • Flag – Make different kinds of country flags and use the word flag every time you talk about one.
  • Flower – Go for a walk and identify different flowers. Use the word as you talk or pick them.
Gl blends:
  • Glass– You can use a glass to do different activities like half and full glass, putting things in glass, etc., and use the word as you speak.
  • Glitter – You can talk about glitter and use different kinds of glitter. This can be one using art and craft activities as well.
Cl blends:
  • Clean– Help your child say this word as you do clean-up activities at home. For example cleaning toys, clothes, etc.
  • Class– You can use this word to have conversations about what your child did in class throughout the day.
Pl blends:
  • Plane– You can make paper planes using different colored papers. Use these planes to target the word ‘plane’
  • Plate– Every time you serve your child a snack, you can use the word ‘plate’ to target the word. Do it whether it’s a snack or a meal.
Sl blends:
  • Slate – Use a slate with your child to talk about various things that you are drawing on the slate.
  • Slow – You can use the word slow in various contexts like slow cars, slow-moving animals, and slow insects to target the practice of this word.
Vaz Larisa
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