First, let’s take a second to notice the parts of our mouth working together: lips, tip of the tongue, back of the tongue, teeth, and top of the mouth. Plus, your voice box and lungs for air.
These are the noise makers. Some are active and some are passive.
Speech is so automatic that we never notice how quickly it all happens, or just how much is happening in a brief moment. Just for fun, slowly and silently produce the word, “explanation” to yourself a few times.
“eh – k – s – p – l – uh – n – a – e – sh – uh – n.”
Notice how the tongue is all over the place? And we haven’t even brought voice into it: on – off – on – off – on again.
Now, consider your child’s name – some are quite complex! Break it down into each sound – each movement of the sound makers. Feel as your tongue and lips move to make contact with the other noise makers. If it were a dance, or an exercise, would it be beginner level or advanced?
When we talk to each other face-to-face, we pick up on a TON of extra information that helps us understand what the other person is saying. Some sounds are very visible while others are not, so we need to have words to describe these actions to our kiddos. I’ll be going into more detail on this ahead, but for now, it’s important to simply appreciate the ease with which most of us acquire speech. We’ll need this perspective as we prepare to give more fitting feedback to the little ones in our lives.