How to teach diphthongs?

What is a diphthong?  Diphthongs are considered single phonemes, each having a sequence of two different vowel positions.  One of the positions is the dominant nucleus (sometimes called the radical) with greater duration; the other position, the glide (or vanish), is of reduced duration and stress.  Both positions are taken in a single syllable.  All diphthong phonemes of American-English move from the nucleus to the glide position. 

The children I have been working with all seem to have difficulty with the glide part of the diphthong.  My experience has been that they are capable of producing the nucleus….however delete the glide completely.  When given a verbal and visual cue…and when just producing the diphthong in isolation….they are capable of producing both the nucleus and the glide.  However….once in a word….the glide is deleted. 

To improve your little one’s ability….it is best to start off with words that are consonant-vowel words (and do NOT have a consonant that follows the vowel).  An example of this would be the following…..best to start off with words like: BYE……..and work towards words like: BIKE.  Both of these words start off with the consonant B…..followed by the same diphthong…however, in the word: BIKE…..the consonant K ends the word….making it a little more challenging.

About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional resource....so that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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