Speech Therapy l Sound

Speech Therapy l Sound: The /l/ sound is a voiced alveolar liquid. When we produce the /l/ sound our vocal folds vibrate. For /l/ sound production, the air-stream flows down the sides of the tongue on its way out of the mouth. The tongue tip touches the alveolar ridge. The /l/ sound is often referred to as a lateral alveolar. Lateral refers to the fact that the breath stream flows down the sides of the tongue be-fore exiting the mouth.

Speech Therapy l Sound - Speech Errors

One of the most common /l/ sound errors is for the /l/ to be misarticulated as the /w/ sound. For instance, lake become wake. Another common sound error is for the /l/ to be produced as a /j/. For instance, lake becomes yake.

Speech Sound Structures - /l/ Sound

Click on image to download speech sound structures /l/

Speech Therapy l Sound - How to Stimulate l Sound

Demonstrate the characteristics of correct /l/ production to your child.

  • Instruct your child to open his/her mouth wide and place the tongue tip against the alveolar ridge. 
  • Encourage your child to produce la la la and to be aware of where the tongue is positioned. During production of lal la la the tongue touches the alveolar ridge and then releases.

/l/ Sound stimulation

  1. Work through the following procedures with your child. Demonstrate to your child what a typical /l/ looks and sounds like. Open your mouth quite wide and raise the tongue tip till it touches the alveo-lar ridge. The child copies your actions. 
  2. Next, have your child feel for the alveolar ridge with the tongue tip. 
  3. Once your child can confidently contact the alveolar ridge with the tongue, instruct your child to lower and raise the tongue several times up and down so that they can get used to feeling where the tongue should be on /l/ production. 
  4. It's a good strategy at this point to instruct your child to touch the throat to feel the larynx vibrate during /l/ production. 
  5. Phoneme plus vowel can be attempted once your child is able to pro-duce the /l/ sound accurately. Try /l/ee, /l/oo, /l/aah, etc. If your child has difficulty switching from vowel to vowel, just practice with one vowel, i.e. /l/ee. Instruct your child to raise and lower the tongue up and down when producing /l/ee.

Speech Therapy l Sound - Sculpting from other Sounds

Many speech sounds can be sculpted using other speech sounds as a starting point.  This involves altering or adjusting speech sounds so that they approach the target sound in nature. This works by the clinician modeling a sound that the child is able to produce. The clinician then makes slight, progressive adjustments to the sound until the target sound is generated. 

Sound Sculpting from the /n/ sound

  1. The /l/ sound can be shaped from the /n/ sound. This is because the tongue position for both /l/ and /n/ production is roughly the same. 
  2. Instruct your child to produce /na/ followed by /la/ in an alternating se-quence, /na/ /la/ /na/ /la/, etc.

Sound sculpting from the /t/ sound

  1. Similar to the /n/ sound the /l/ can be shaped from the /t/ sound. The /l/, /n/ and /t/ sounds all have the tongue tip touch the alveolar ridge.
  2. Instruct your child to produce /ta/ followed by /la/ in an alternating sequence, /ta/ /la/ /ta/ /la/, etc.

Updated 20/08/2020