1.  If a student sometimes produces  sound correctly, reinforce correct use and give reminders and imitative models. Perhaps let the child know there will be one period of the day where you will be especially listening and reminding.  This can help to avoid 'nagging'.  Keep the focus very positive and praise willingness to try even if unsuccessful.  Do not persist on difficult words.   Let the child know that he/she will be able to say the words in the future. 

2.  Set up a period of daily practice, perhaps with a tape recorder, or with a friend.  Practice can include imitating the sound, then words, and eventually making sentences.   Choose words or pictures that are short at first and that will allow success.  Accept and reinforce gradual improvement.  ('You're getting close.  that was a stronger 'r'.')  Possible practice activities may include:

    a.  cut out pictures and make and use a set of index cards containing the target             sound
    b.  play a game like "Simon Says' in which the task is to imitate words                     containing the sounds.
    c.  play a board game, saying the target sound, word or sentence each time a             piece is moved.
    d.  identify words containing the sound from the weekly spelling list and                     practice saying those words each week.

3.  Encourage and reinforce the student for identifying when he/she hears you or other students using the target sound correctly.  Students often enjoy using a simple hand signal to identify when they hear a sound.  this can be part of a period of daily practice or it may occur throughout the day.  A student may have a 'goal' to identify his/her sound 10 or 20 times during the day.

4.  If a student reads fluently enough not to be frustrated, underline the words or have the student underline the words in a passage containing the target sound.  Ask the student to pre-practice them, perhaps into a tape recorder, then to read the passage using the correct sound.  Give praise and encouragement for trying and for 'getting closer' as well as for correct sounds.  Have the students listen to the passage and identify correct sound usage. 

5.  Literacy activities such as phonics practice, brainstorming or writing and saying the word lists or sentences beginning with specific sounds, rhyming words, etc. can help to increase sound awareness. 

6.  If the problem is related to too rapid rate, low volume, or poor clarity or speech, give the student specific feedback (e.g. 'I Can't understand you when you talk so fast. Please slow down.' of 'You said that so clearly! I understood you really well.)  Also consider regular periods of specific positive practice using appropriate speaking characteristics.

7.  Provide frequent reassurance and encouragement.  Avoid nagging.  It is often helpful to set up a contract to encourage student ownership of the learning project.

Prepared by S. Penner  10/10/93