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.
Making L Sound Better
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I have a number of clients whose L doesn’t sound right. The tongue-tip is lifting to the alveolar ridge, but the sound is muffled and just a little distorted. Do you have any suggestions?
The tongue-tip probably is elevating without the full tongue thinning enough. Try this:
- Have the client say La-La-La with the jaw lower. Lowering the jaw usually thins the tongue.
- Have him say Ah first, and have him keep saying Ah while he says L. Make sure Ah is made with the jaw low and the mouth nice and round.
- If necessary, give the client something wide on which to brace the mouth open further. Try a toothbrush handle, the side of a tongue depressor, a large bite block, or even the child’s own finger placed between the upper and lower teeth on the side.
- Teach him discriminate the better sound that results with the jaw lower, and teach him to achieve that sound each time.