Sometimes, unclear speech isn’t caused by problems with speech sounds at the single sound level. Many people – children and adults alike – struggle with the movements required to sequence combinations of speech sounds, e.g. to go from a front sound like /t/ or /d/ to a back sound like /g/ or /k/ and back again quickly.
In this resource, we include two articulation stories designed to train specific palatal-palatal speech sound movements. They are not tongue twisters in the traditional sense. Instead, the stories are loaded with words and phrases designed to target a particular pattern of speech movement: namely palatal-palatal movements with exercises loaded with multiple /r/, “sh”, “ch” and “j” sounds.
Clinically, we’ve had good results using these stories with a variety of clients, including older children with residual speech sound errors and adults with speech issues associated with traumatic brain injuries, aphasia, and mild apraxia of speech. We’ve also used them in accent modification training to train movements that are common in English, but not common in a client’s first language.
For younger children with good or advanced language skills, we have adapted these stories into sentence repetition drills as part of randomised speech programs.
Note that, in these stories, we deliberately use complex vocabulary and grammar.
Important note: The second story in this pack is a supernatural (though slightly silly) “thriller”. We wrote it to encourage exaggerated (story-telling) use of prosody, including accelerating rate, and strong primary stress. It may not be for everyone – especially young children and people who do not like supernatural thrillers!
We are firm believers in setting ambitious goals -especially for people looking to go back to work in professional and technical settings. We hope you and your clients find these stories useful.