Sound emerges around 3 years of age.

Typically mastered: Girls: 5 years of age   Boys: 6 years of age


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 use this only as a tactile cue so she has awareness that her tongue needs to elevate.  You also can use a lollipop to stimulate the bump behind the teeth…give her the tactile cue..and see if she can elevate her tongue to where the lollipop is.  You can also use an electric toothbrush to give additional tactile stimulation to the bumpy spot. Now see if she is ready to practice the L sound in syllables.


Practice in syllables:

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




If she is still having trouble in production of the L sound…I use the TH sound as in that and this.  The TH sound in both of these words is the voiced TH sound…have her practice making the voiced TH sound…you should see her tongue between her top teeth and bottom teeth.  Next ask her to move her tongue back to the bump behind her teeth.  You should hear the L sound!

I also have found that humming helps to achieve the L sound…have your little one practice humming….then ask her to put her tongue on the “bump”..and hum…what you will hear is the L sound!

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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