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.
Teaching Final K
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I am working with a child 4;0 with velar fronting. I have established a somewhat inconsistent K in initial and medial position. How can I get k in final position?
If he has K anywhere, he is on his way. At his age I would predict that he will learn it on his own given more time.
It is very unusual for a child to get K initial and medial but not final — final usually comes in first — but maybe he has lots of problems with final sounds and his problem is not really final K, it is Final Sounds.
However, to stimulate him for that final K, I would do the following things–
- If he can say K in isolation, just practice it a lot. That may help him begin to generalize it.
- Model the words rhythmically and make the final K its own syllable with a schwa. “Bike” will becomes “Bi—Kuh”. That’s the way many toddlers learn it.
- Make the final K words a diminutive. “Bike” becomes “Bi-Kee”. That’s also the way many toddlers learn it.
- If he can say K in isolation, teach him to prolong it by making K like a fricative (a velar fricative). This gives him more tactile info about the sound, and that also is the way many toddlers learn it.
- Let him use the fricated K in the final position. Model “Bike” as “bikkkkkkkkkkk”. By prolonging K you help him hear it better too.
- Pair words together. Practice phrases using a word that starts with K after a word that ends with a vowel. For example, practice “I can…” and “He could…” and “A car”. This way he is learning to sequence K after a vowel which is the very skill he needs to say words with final K.
Here’s a game I would do to work on#6 above –
- Gather a set of toys that start with the K sound: Car, cat, cup, cop, key, cookie, candy, card.
- Show the child all the toys and let him play with them for a minute.
- Then hide them in a box or bag.
- Take turns reaching in the container without looking, and use the hand to rummage round and feel the toys.
- Grasp one toy and try to guess what it is before pulling it out.
- While guessing, say, “I think it’s a car…”
- Pull out the toy to see if the guess was correct.
- Shout “Correct!” or “Not correct!”
- See how many you can guess correctly.