How to Teach the CH Sound
Posted by Heidi | Filed under Improving Articulation
My little Scarlet is two months old now. Last night she finally slept for long enough that this morning I feel half way normal. Yay! I decided to sit down and write a post to celebrate a clear mind, which it seems (as of late), doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.
In January I had a comment here on Mommy Speech Therapy from Christy, a mom who wanted to know how to teach the CH sound. I decided to share my response to her with all of you and finally post some worksheets that will make teaching this sound a little easier. I hope this helps.
CH Sound in Isolation:
When teaching the CH sound I begin by saying that it is the sound a train makes (choo-choo), or the sound of a sneeze (ah-choo!). Surprisingly, sometimes kids are able to make the CH sound by simply referencing these metaphors.
If this doesn’t work, and your child can say the /t/ sound and the SH sound, you can shape the CH sound by first making the /t/ sound and following it up with the SH sound. Doing this rapidly should produce the CH sound.
Another way of teaching the CH sound is by teaching your child where to place the tongue. Encourage her to place her tongue tip on the roof of the mouth at the bumpy ridge just before it goes down toward the back of the mouth. If she has a difficult time finding this spot you can stimulate it with her toothbrush or put a little dab of peanut butter on that spot and then have her touch her tongue to the peanut butter. After you have taught her where to place her tongue you need to teach her how to release the air. Have her hold her tongue in that position tightly and then have her release the air quickly.
CH Sound in Syllables
Now that you know your child can say the CH sound in isolation you are ready to put it into syllables. The reason behind practicing sounds in syllables before words is because it is a smaller step for your child to take after learning the sound in isolation. For example going from the CH sound in isolation to the “choo” syllable is easier than going from the CH sound in isolation to “chimpanzee”. The other reason I like to work on syllables is because it gives me a way to determine which position of words (initial, medial or final) in the CH sound I should begin practicing because it lets me know where the child is most likely to be successful. To practice the sound in syllables simply add each vowel after the CH sound for the initial position, before the CH sound for the final position, and before and after the CH sound for the medial position, being sure to practice the long and short form of each vowel. For example the initial CH syllables would be “cha, che, chi, cho, and chu. Final CH syllables would be “ach, ech, ich, och, and uch. Medial CH syllables would be, “acho, echi, icha, ochu, and uchee.
When you figure out in which position your child has the easiest time producing the CH sound you want to practice the CH sound in the same position of words. For example, if your child is the most successful with the CH sound in the initial (beginning) position of syllables I would begin work on the CH sound in initial position of words. If your child has more success with the CH sound in the final position of syllables then I would begin working on the CH sound in the final position of words. This should help your child make progress faster if you start where they are most successful and build from there.
CH Sound in Words
Once your little one can say the CH sound in syllables and you have decided which position (initial, medial or final) you want to target you are ready to practice the CH sound in words. Use the word cards I have created on the worksheets page to practice the CH sound. Once your child can say at least 16 out of 20 words correctly you are ready to practice the CH sound in sentences.
CH Sound in Sentences
Once your child can say the CH sound correctly in words practice them in sentences. My favorite way to practice sounds in sentences is with a “rotating sentence”. In a rotating sentence only the word card changes. For example, the final CH sentence would be, “I touch the ________ .” When you add a practice card to it, it reads, “I touch the watch.” Then you rotate all your practice cards through the sentence. This is an especially great way to practice sentences for young children who can’t read yet. They are able to memorize the sentence, or use visual cues to help them read it aloud. You are also able to maximize the production of your target sound when you use a sentence with two or three target words in it. You may find my sentences for the different positions of the CH sound on the worksheets page.
CH Sound in Stories
Once your child can say the CH sound with 80% accuracy in sentences you are ready for stories. For my younger children I like to prepare a story for them to practice using the sound cards they have been practicing. You may use the stories I have created on the worksheets page. I try to include as many picture clues as I can so young children can retell the story without being able to read.
I will usually ask the older kids that I work with to write their own stories using the word cards. They usually come up with very creative stories that are very entertaining for both of us.
After the child has mastered reading the story aloud with 80% accuracy I have them retell me the story without reading it. This is just another small step toward getting an accurate production of the target sound in conversation. Once they can do this I move them to conversation.
The CH Sound in Conversation
Having mastered the CH sound in isolation, syllables, words, sentences and stories you are finally ready to practice the CH sound in conversation. At this point in the process it is ok to correct an inaccurate production of the CH sound in conversation. Hopefully, if we have done our job right, you shouldn’t have too many errors to correct.
With these tools and a little patience I am confident you will have success teaching the CH sound just as Christy did. Thank you Christy for sharing your success with us in teaching this sound on my post, “How to teach the SH Sound.” Best of luck to all of you, and three cheers for a good night sleep!
Heidi Hanks, M.S.CCC-SLP has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist since 2000. She graduated from Utah State University where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She began her career in early intervention and eventually started her own private practice where she has worked primarily with pre-K through school age kids. She is the founder of Little Bee Speech, and is currently developing apps for speech and language. Heidi lives in Utah with her husband and 4 children.