To learn how to make the L sound we must know what each articulator (tongue, lips, teeth, breath, jaw, and voice) does.
Let's get learning so we can get teaching!
Let's break it down here.
Tongue: The tongue tip is pointed up and touches the alevolar ridge which is the bumpy part on the roof of the mouth behind the teeth. This is the most important part of L. Say L and try this! Feel where the tongue is in the mouth.
Lips: The lips are in a neutral position or a slight smile.
Teeth: The teeth have a VERY SLIGHT gap to allow for air flow. Say L again and feel what your teeth do.
Jaw: The jaw must be up and centered.
Breath: Airflow is continuous. It does not stop.
Voice: L is a voiced sound which means the voice box is turned on. Say L while touching your throat. If you feel buzzing, you are doing it right!
How to use this section:
I will introduce all cues that I find helpful. Please read and become familiar with each one. You will not use all of them. Instead, when you are ready to start practicing, you will try a few and figure out which ones are most helpful for your child. Most likely, you will use a combination of a few. Please refer back to this section as needed!
Speech therapists use a variety of cues during therapy including tactile (touch), verbal (words), and visual (visual models/mirrors) to elicit a correct sound production. Below are the most useful cues for L.
1. Smile when saying L to encourage your child not to round lips
2. Point up to remind your child that tongue is up
1. Say “tongue up"
2. Say “tongue behind teeth"
3. Say “good L sound"
4. Say “La" with an exaggerate "L"
1. Touch the bumpy part with your finger or a sucker
2. Move your finger along your child's hand while saying L to encourage continuous airflow
Pick and choose which cues work best for your child. You do not have to use any or maybe you need all of them.