This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: My client has no fricatives/affricates. I have been working of F for about three months, and he is just not getting it.
This is how I work: If I cannot get one particular phoneme when a client has none in the class, I revert back to stimulating the class or distinctive feature.
Instead of teaching one particular phoneme in the class or with the feature, stimulate for them all. That way the client learns to recognize the similarities between them. The similarities between Th, F, V, S, Z, Sh, ZH, Ch, and J is the frication.
Don’t worry about which phoneme he is using. Only concern yourself with the fact that he is adding frication to his phonological repertoire. Therefore, if you are stimulating him to make S, and he makes Sh instead, don’t worry about it. Reward him for adding the frication.
Think about it this way: The only difference between voiceless Th, F, S, Sh, Ch, and H is place of articulation. Also, the only difference between voiced Th, V, Z, Zh, and J is place of articulation. All of these sounds are fricatives, and each has a unique place. Teach the manner/class/feature first, and the place second. I believe that this reflects the way phonology develops naturally.
There are many ways to approach this. Here are two ideas -–
1. Teach one sound and concept per phoneme in the same time period. This is a basic Van Riper method. Give each sound its own “personality”:
- Th (voiceless) – Th-th-th Angry goose sound
- Th (voiced) – Thhhhh Motor boat sound
- F – F-f-f-f-f Hissing cat sound
- V – Vvvvvv Vacuum cleaner sound
- S – Ssssss Snake sound
- Z – Zzzzz Bee sound
- Sh – Shhhhh Quiet sound
- Zh – Zhhhhh Airplane sound
- Ch – Ch-Ch-Ch Choo-choo train sound
- J – J-J-J-J Jumping sound
- H – H-h-h-h Panting dog sound
2. Teach one word per phoneme in the same time period. In general I like to use final position for the voiceless phonemes, and initial position for the voiced phonemes:
- Th (voiceless) – Bath
- Th (voiced) – That
- F – Off
- V – Vee (letter V)
- S – Bus
- Z – Zoo
- Sh – Wish
- Zh – Zsa-Zsa (a woman’s name)
- Ch – Ah-Choo!
- J – Joe
- H – Hot