Phoneme Factory - Developing Speech and Language Skills by Gwen Lancaster

By Gwen Lancaster

This ebook is a part of the Phoneme manufacturing facility venture undertaken through Granada studying in partnership with the Speech and Language treatment examine Unit (SLTRU) in Bristol. It goals to supply counsel for academics, SENCos, SLTs and oldsters concerning: standards for referral to speech and language treatment phonological issues acceptable intervention ways that may be utilized in the study room and at domestic. Complementing the e-book is a CD containing downloadable assets together with an image library for the school room and the house, in addition to checklists and different time-saving records.

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The ‘phonemes’ of the language are the smallest units that interchange or combine with each other to signal a change in the meaning of a word. For example, in English the vowels ‘ah’ and ‘ee’ and consonants ‘k’ and ‘t’ can replace each other to create different words. Changing the vowel results in these different word pairs: car vs key, tar vs tea, ark vs eek and art vs eat. The consonant changes result in different meaning in these pairs: car vs tar, key vs tea, art vs ark and eek vs eat. If we didn’t have one of the contrastive sounds, ‘ah’ and ‘ee’ or ‘k’ and ‘t’ in our phonological system, some of the pairs of words would sound the same and we could be misunderstood.

Many speech sounds are made through the tongue tip making contact with this ridge. By feeling with a finger or looking in a mirror you can notice the change from the hard to soft palate towards the back of the mouth. You can see the soft palate move if you look in the mirror and say ‘ah’. The soft palate closes the nasal cavity off from the mouth. This is necessary for eating and drinking and for speech. The sounds ‘m’, ‘n’, and ‘ng’ however, require air to pass through the nose, so the soft palate is not raised when these sounds are spoken.

How our ability to read misleads us Because of this merging of sounds in words, no specific characteristics of any individual speech sound have been identified in the flow of speech. We might think we hear a sequence of individual sounds when we hear a word, but we do not. We hear sounds merged together. Dorothy Bishop describes it as less like ‘beads on a string’ and more like ‘jelly babies that are threaded on a string and then heated in an oven, so that adjacent items merge’ (Bishop 1997: 9).

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