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Descriptions of Speech Cues PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rachel Betzen   

Each speech cue represents only one sound, but it can be hard to tell what the hand movements are for some of the cues.  Here is a complete description of each cue.  For many cues voiced sounds (you wil feel buzzing on the throat) use the whole hand and voiceless sounds (no throat buzzing) use one finger.  The hand cues somewhat show what the mouth is doing for that sound.  You should say the sound as you perform the hand cue.  You may download and print the Speech Cue Cards for free personal or educational use.



b-  tap hand over lips

p- tap pointer finger over lips

t-  with hand sideways, tap pointer finger above lips

d- with hand sideways, tap entire hand above lips

k-  tap pointer finger on throat

g-  tap hand on throat

f-  move pointer finger away and down from lips

v- move hand away and down from lips

s-  with hand sideways, move pointer finger in a straight line away from mouth

z- with hand sideways, move entire hand in a straight line away from mouth

sh- move hand away from mouth in a "c" shape

ch-  move a fisted hand straight down in front of face

j-  move a fisted hand across left to right in front of body

h-  hold hand in front of mouth to feel air movement

l-  hold an "l" shaped hand near the face

r-  hold a cupped hand near the face

w-  move three fingers in a circle in front of the mouth

m-  hold hand over nose

n-  hold two fingers on either side of nose



Smile vowels- hold the thumb and pointer finger under a smile, these are any vowels which include a smile mouth shape, such as "ee", "i", "e", "a", "ae"

Open vowels-  hold the hand under an open mouth, these include the "o" and "aw" sounds

Round vowels-  make a circle around the lips with the pointer finger, these include the "oa" and "oo" sounds


Speech cue cards may be downloaded for free personal or educational use.  See our Terms of Use for further details.





Dallas Reading and Language Services

Rachel Betzen MA, CCC/SLP


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(214) 274-7455


Questions to Ask When Developing a Pre-Literacy Curriculum: PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rachel Betzen   

Excellent teachers are worth their weight in gold. While there are many factors that go into the creation of excellence in education, good teachers have a feel for where their students are developmentally, and a plan for moving each one towards completion of their educational goals. This is also certainly true for pre-school teachers who are planning literacy activities into their daily routines. Our students are in an important stage of development, and what they learn in the last year of pre-school will be their foundation for Kindergarten, particularly when it comes to pre-literacy instruction. We all want our students to be ready before taking that leap.


Typical Pre-Literacy Speech Cue Lesson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Betzen   

The wonderful thing about addressing pre-literacy skills with children is that it can be done within any theme the class may be working on at the time. The following is a typical lesson plan I have used for a pre-literacy class. These plans are meant to be used in small groups that children participate in once a week. I usually worked with groups of five or six students and spent 30-45 minutes with each group. Adjust to your class as needed, but if you are able to work in thirty minute classes with small groups throughout the week, your children will greatly benefit from the more individualized attention.

How to Use Speech Cue Cards for Reading Remediation PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Rachel Betzen   

How to Use Speech Cue Cards for Reading Remediation

For children that use the speech cue system to build sound/letter awareness as literacy skills or to learn specific sounds in speech therapy, they naturally adapt to using the hand cues and cards as part of a reading program. I have successfully used speech cue cards to teach reading to children that have speech and language delays/disorders, and mental retardation.

How to Use Speech Cue Cards to Teach Name Recognition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Betzen   

How to Use Speech Cue Cards to Teach Name Recognition

One of the first printed words that young children learn to recognize is their own name. It is not uncommon for high quality early childhood classrooms to have children's names posted in multiple places, along with many other printed labels. Young children will recognize the first letter of their name and sometimes the shape of the word before they will come to learn all the letters needed to spell their name. Some children may learn to spell their names through exposure to it at home and school, while others will need more time with direct instruction.


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