Banter Quick Tips: the p, t, k ‘whisper’ trick

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School’s back, and lots of Kindergarteners are learning to connect their letters to sounds so they can read.

We can help them with the /p-t-k/ whisper trick. These three letters cause heaps of problems.

When I’m working with somebody with a reading difficulty, they’ll often pronounce them ‘puh’, ‘tuh’, or ‘kuh’ with an ‘uh’ or ‘schwa’ (unstressed vowel) sound at the end.

Once a student starts doing that, it’s really hard to get them to change. Teachers and parents can help them by always whispering /p, t, k/ when modelling the sounds for students.

So why does it matter so much?

Well, the whole purpose of teaching kids to sound out their letters is to help them to read. ‘puh’, ‘tuh’ and ‘kuh’ get in the way. Check out our video below to see what we mean.

Hope this helps! We can help young students by always modelling /p, t, k/!

For more, check out our free guide: Learning to Read: What Works and Why

YouTube video
Man wearing glasses and a suit, standing in front of a bay

Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

David Kinnane
Speech-Language Pathologist. Lawyer. Father. Reader. Writer. Speaker.

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