How To Say J

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How To Say J

Below is a brief explanation on what all the articulators (tongue, lips, teeth, jaw, breath, voice) must do to say /j/correctly.

Let's break it down here.

Lips: The tongue is the most important. The tip and front part of the tongue is pressed up against the palate (the roof of the mouth behind the alveolar ridge or "bumpy part"). 

Tongue: The lips are in a slight pucker.

Teeth: The teeth have a VERY SLIGHT gap to allow for airflow. 

Jaw: The jaw is up and centered.

Breath: At first, the air flow completely stops. Then after the air stops, air escapes with a rough, fricative sound.

Voice: /J/ is a voiced sound which means the voice box is on.  Say /j/ while touching your throat. If you feel a buzz, you are doing it right!

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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 J.


  1. Pretend to sneeze and say "ajoo" instead of "achoo”
  2. Clap one hand on the other to help encourage your child to say /j/ loud and short


  1. Say “tongue up"
  2. Say “good /j/ sound"
  3. Say “turn voice box on"
  4. Say "pucker"


  1. Gently press up behind your child's chin to raise tongue up

Pick and choose which cues work best for your child. You do not have to use any or maybe you need all of them.

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What's Next

Now that your know how to say J and what cues are helpful, head over to Teach J to start teaching and practicing with your child!

› How To Say J


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