How to teach the L sound


During production of the L sound…..the velopharyngeal port is closed…..the tip of your tongue closes with slight pressure against the alveolar ridge (the bumpy spot behind top front teeth)……and there is slight opening on both sides of the tongue.  Voice escapes around the tongue and out of the oral cavity.

Physical cue:

 Place your right pointer finger on your shoulder….then run your finger down your arm to the tips of your fingers.  As you are doing this action produce the L sound (do NOT say lalalala)……you should just be making the L sound.  The action is showing your little one that L is a long sound that continues.


Tactile cue:

In order to give your little one some awareness as to where her tongues needs to go…you can use peanut butter (no allergies)…..cake frosting…..or creamed cheese.  Place the food on the bumpy spot…..and have your little one elevate her tongue to the bumpy spot.  This will give her tactile information regarding the placement of her tongue. 

I also use cheerios as a way to give children tactile information regarding placement.  Be sure that there are NO gagging or choking concerns.  Child should be old enough to bite, lateralize, chew and swallow solid foods with no feeding or aspiration concerns.  If she is cleared for solid foods… can ask her to hold the cheerio on the bumpy spot with her tongue.  You may have to help her by placing the cheerio on the bumpy spot…then asking her to lift her tongue up and hold the cheerio in place.  You can have her hold the cheerio for five seconds…then increase the time to ten….fifteen and then twenty seconds. 

After she has found the correct placement for L… can begin in syllables such as:

la la la la

le le le le

lo lo lo lo

lu lu lu lu

li li li li

Then you can practice the L sound in single words.

Practice L words in short phrases.

Next practice the L words in short sentences.

L words in longer sentences.

Then in conversational speech.



Following the order of articulation is important:

The order of articulation is as follows:


single words

short phrases

short sentences

longer sentences



Have fun!


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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