This is an excerpt from Super Star Speech: Expanded Edition. Super Star Speech includes practice materials, picture cards, and games to teach almost every speech sound. /K/ and /g/ are common errors in 3-4 year olds. Most children tend to substitute /t/ for /k/, and /d/ for /g/, resulting in speech that is very difficult to understand! If your child struggles with these sounds, try out these ideas. I hope they will help!
K and G
To produce the K and G sounds, the back part of the tongue is raised and pressed against the roof of the mouth (soft palate), stopping all airflow. The front of the tongue is lowered. The tongue then drops, allowing the air that has been held behind the tongue to escape suddenly. The K is voiceless, produced by airflow. The G is produced with the voice “on.”
1. Demonstrate the sound in front of a mirror. Use a spoon or popsicle stick to touch the back of the tongue and the soft palate to help the child feel how the sound is made. (Be cautious about triggering the gag reflex as you do this.) Have the child put his hand, paper, or a feather close to the lips to feel or see the puffs of air.
2. Strengthen the back of the tongue and help the child identify the part of the tongue to be raised by pressing downward on the back of the tongue with a spoon while the child tries to push upward.
3. Have the child attempt to say T while you hold the tongue tip down.
4. Play listening games to help the child practice discriminating between /t/ and /k/ or between /d/ and /g/. (“Is this a dog?” “Is this a gog?”)
5. Exaggerate the target sound when modeling it.
Here are a few activities to practice the /k/ and /g/ sounds:
Repeat each pair several times. Emphasize the difference between /k/ and /t/ and between /d/ and /g/.
Think of a word that rhymes with each of these words. Say each word pair 3 times.
More practice activities can be found at http://superstarspeech.com.