How to Teach the ‘L’ Sound

In speech therapy, the ‘l’ sound is one of the more difficult sounds for children to learn. The child is required to keep the tip of his/her tongue up and in place while having their voice ‘on’.

I sometimes call the ‘l’ sound the ‘lalala singing sound’. Metaphors help the children to recognize and produce different sounds in speech therapy.

I typically begin working on this sound when children are in Junior Kindergarten. When the ‘l’ sound is beside a consonant like in the word ‘block’ and ‘climb’, I will begin working on this when the child is a bit older.

One way to strengthen the tongue, so that the child can keep the tongue up for this sound, is to use a cheerio. Have the child use the tip of the tongue to keep the cheerio ‘up’. The cheerio will be placed up on the bumpy ridge area, behind the upper teeth.

Have the child practice this, and then practice holding the tongue up without the cheerio while saying just the ‘l’ sound.

If you would like more information, or materials to practice this sound at home, please see the program below. This program takes you through the 5 steps to learning a speech sound that I do in my therapy sessions. I also provide helpful materials for home practice including individually selected, high resolution, photo flashcards.

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