I am really excited to have been working over this past year with two young children that both are having trouble with diphthongs. A diphthong is a vowel that actually consists of two vowels. For example when you say the word: by…..the long I sound that is made in by…actually consists of two vowels….the ah sound than the long E sound. Often times when children have trouble with dipthongs….they can say the first vowel in the diphthong…however…they delete the second vowel. What I have been finding is that this deletion makes their speech sound immature and “babyish”. Now what is even more interesting is that they are capable of producing the diphthong in isolation…..that means the Long I sound all by itself….and they are capable of saying the diphthong when there is NOT a consonant that follows it…..as in the word: BY. However, as soon as a consonant follows the diphthong (as in the word BIKE)…..they delete the second vowel in the dipthong…and a word like BIKE….sounds like: B-AH-K. So I have been working really hard on oral motor exercises….click on this link and also check out the oral motor exercises page….. OMEXERCISES. These oral motor exercises have been improving the child’s overall oral motor movement…of their lips, tongue and cheeks…helping them to better articulate the vowel sounds. So in conjunction with addressing the actual diphthong itself…I incorporate the oral motor exercises to improve strength and mobility.
I plan over the next week or so to write a post regarding specific strategies to improve production of the diphthongs…..please post a reply with any questions or comments.