How To Say L

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How To Say L

To learn how to say the K sound we must know what each articulator (lips, tongue, teeth, breath, and voice) does. Let's break it down here!

Tongue: The tongue tip is pointed up and touches the alveolar ridge which is the bumpy part on the roof of the mouth behind the teeth. Say /l/ and 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 airflow. 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.

Please say L in front of a mirror a few times and look/feel what all your muscles are doing. Once you have a good handle on how to say L, you can teach your child!

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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 L.


  1. Smile when saying /l/ to encourage your child not to round lips
  2. Point up to remind your child that the tongue tip should be up


  1. Say “tongue up"
  2. Say “tongue behind teeth"
  3. Say “good /l/"
  4. Say “La La" with an exaggerated /l/


  1. Touch the bumpy part (alveolar ridge) with your finger or a sucker and then have your child find this spot with their tongue tip
  2. Touch the corners of your child's mouth with your thumb and index finger while he/she is saying /l/ to discourage any rounding of the lips
  3. Touch under your child's jaw (right before you feel the jaw bone) to encourage your child to move their tongue up
  4. Move your finger along your child's arm 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.

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What's Next

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

› How To Say L


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