How to teach the CH sound


Phonetically….this is how we write the CH sound .    It is considered to be a post-alveolar affricate…or a lingua-alveolar…or a lingua-palatal voiceless (motor off) affricate.  Remember that the motor off sound means that your vocal folds are not vibrating during production of the CH sound.

Quick tip:  When I tell a child that we are working on the Choo-choo sound…sometimes that is enough to help them to coordinate to make the CH sound.  I may only hear the sound in isolation once or twice…..however…it is a good starting point…and helps the little one to understand what the CH sound….sounds like.  My next quick tip…I think works best of all with the CH sound…..pretend to sneeze……Ah–Chooooooo!   Most little ones can pretend to sneeze….and just by doing this you are helping them to understand what the CH sound…..sounds like. 

The CH sound is comprised of both the T sound and the SH sound.  The position of the tongue for this sound is essentially that for the SH sound….with some minor differences.  The CH sound is produced with a single impulse of breath…even though it includes components of both the T sound and the SH sound.

This sound is one of the later developing sounds….you may hear children at around three and a half producing this sound correctly….however….some children need up until about 7 to master this sound completely.   I have a three-year old now that I am seeing for therapy…purely for incorrect production of diphthongs…..and we do address this sound as well…..WHY….because she is able to make both the T sound and the SH sound…..and when given the correct strategies she is successful with the CH sound.  Be sure to have your licensed speech and language pathologist help you decide what sounds your little one will start off with…..and when you may work on a later sound developing sound.

Well if you are ready to address the CH sound….follow the strategies below.




The visual/physical cue that I use for T…..I will post here so you do not have to go back to strategies for T… used in conjunction with the visual/physical cue for SH.  As I said above the CH sound is comprised of the T sound and the SH sound…so it would make sense that you would use both the cue for T and the cue for SH.

The cue is very simple…..just touch your pointer finger and thumb together as you are making the T sound……you are showing your little one that their tongue is making closure and touching the bumpy spot behind their teeth. 



Now for the next part of the cue….bring your index finger up to your lips…and say SHHHH



The cool thing about this sound is that when you make the T sound…and quickly follow it by the SH sound… actually make the CH sound…try it!   So when working with your little one….have her practice the T sound….then the SH sound….continue to have her say T then SH…..THEN….continue to do so….saying it faster every time you say T and then SH…..eventually….your little one will make the CH sound! 

Now once you have heard the CH sound (as she is saying the T then SH)….have her try to say the CH sound in isolation (all by itself)….when I say the CH sound…in isolation…I move my arm up-and-down…making the choo-choo train movement….if that sounds familiar….that cue alone…usually is enough to help your little one with production of the sound.


Ch words in the initial position worksheet: INITIALCHWORDS

Once she is able to produce the sound in isolation….remember to follow the articulation order:

1. Syllables: the easiest way to remember this is to think of all of the vowels: A E I O U

and have your child practice the CH sound followed by the vowels.  So it would look something like this:

Cha, cha, cha

Chee, chee, chee

Chi, chi, chi

Cho, cho, cho

Chu, chu, chu

2. Short Phrases

3. Sentences

4. Longer Sentences

5. Conversation

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 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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