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 can do S and Sh correctly, but I cannot get him to do Ch. Ideas?
Van Riper used a term that applies here. He said the “association method” was the process of using a phoneme the client already can produce to teach him to say a phoneme he cannot produce. In this case, the easiest way to do this is to use Sh to teach Ch.
Think about how we transcribe Ch. It is /t∫/. This means that Ch starts with the T-position and it ends with the Sh-position. Ch = T + Sh. I teach Ch by reversing the sequence. Here’s what I do:
- Have the client say Sh with prolongation. Have him hold it for about 3 seconds.
- Then have him “Stop the air” by lifting the tongue-tip up to T. Sorry about this, but it will sound like he is saying a swear word: “sh*t.” Have him practice this several times. The key is to say T without its off-glide. Have him simply “stop the air” or “close the gate” by lifting the tip.
- Now have him say a sequence of three sounds: Sh—-T—-Sh. This way he is sequencing T and Sh in a row.
- Now do this in long sequences: Sh—T—Sh—T—Sh—T—Sh—T—Sh…
- Now do it faster and faster. It should start sounding like Ch at some point.