the where and when of speech sounds
While I was organizing my desk today, trying to file my huge stacks of papers, files, books, games, and binders, I ran across something I thought was worth sharing: an Age-Appropriate Speech Sounds packet.
- Age-Appropriate Speech Sounds: This small packet is not in the best shape, and I’m not even positive of its exact origin (my apologies!), but I do know that I received it as a part of an Early Literacy course for my Master’s program not that long ago.
Age-Appropriate Speech Sounds is here as a pdf for you to download if you please.
What I love about this resource is the ease with which anyone–teacher, parent, student, whomever–can read and understand when children should be able to master certain speech sounds. I also love that it spans ages three through nine, and it made clear to me that children aren’t expected to “own” those tricky blends and even trickier digraphs until age six.
I also appreciate the last page, which shows where in the mouth the sounds are formed; in fact, a few days ago at breakfast, Cora said–out of the blue–that she missed her Uncle Will. Except she said, in a sad and whiny little voice, Mommy, I am so sad. I miss my Uncle Woo.
Maddy said, Cora, his name is Uncle Will. It rhymes with mill and sill. Can you say, ‘Will’? Maddy is five and Cora’s two. I always get a kick out of little teachers trying to help littler students.
Even Owen jumped in and tried saying ‘Will’ with a definite ‘l’ at the end, but he had trouble: Uncle Wou, he said.
So I said, La, la, la, la, lllllllllaaaa, (in my best singing voice ever). Who can make their tongue touch the top of their mouths and sing with me–la, la, la, la, llllaaaaa. . . .
Maddy, Owen, and Cora joined in, and then I said. Listen: Willlll. Can you feel your tongue touch the top of your mouth when you say ‘Will’?
They tried, and everyone seemed to get closer. We did a little rhyming, and then we finished our breakfast. We even called Uncle Will to let him know he was a star today.
So understanding where these speech sounds are formed might make it easier for parents at home to help their little ones enunciate more clearly–or to at least guide their children a little bit.
Here are some other helpful links: age-appropriate speech and language milestones; same information but linked to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh), another set of milestones from an occupational therapist.
Don’t get me wrong–I’m not expecting my kiddos to master each individual speech sound before they’re ready, and I’m not drilling them if they don’t own these sounds when they’re expected to. In fact, I had two very late talkers and one who just never seemed to care if he pronounced anything correctly.
I just find that the Age-Appropriate Speech Sounds packet gives me a starting point, that’s all, and it makes for great breakfast conversation with your kids.