One day a student came to me and told me they had practiced the word “carro” over and over and over again all weekend long. The student’s target sound was “rr.” I asked a little more information about why the student had done that. The student told me that s/he wanted to get better at the R sound. S/he thought could practice at home a lot and work on it. I asked her, “Could you say “carro” for me since you practiced it?” S/he did and it sounded great!
Does Articulation Homework Work?
I have assigned homework to highly motivated kids and it has usually been a plain worksheet. My homework usually has 10-12 pictures and words on a page. I’m never really 100% happy with the worksheets. That’s because many of the words aren’t functional for the students because they are in their daily vocabulary. Homework in general is not effective for students that are not motivated. That’s why I’m now switching to one word articulation homework.
Here’s How to Assign One Word Artic Homework:
- When I finish up a session with the student, I asked the student to pick out a word that has their target sound in it. Then they practice it for the next seven days. Some kids choose words that we practice during the speech session. Others choose words that are important to them. I encourage students to choose a word that is important to them, if possible, because that makes homework meaningful. For example, I had a student who said s/he wanted to practice the word “hermano.” That word was important because of having a brother (and the word is a high frequency word in their life). Normally, the word “hermano” is not one that I would assign for a student to practice because it is a medial sound (in the middle of the word). However, I do think it’s really important to consider motivation and also the fact that students self-selected the word to work on.
But there’s no doubt that the one word method is extremely helpful for students. It’s especially great for students that are highly motivated to correct their speech. And by allowing them to choose a word to practice it empowers them to take control of their practice at home of speech sounds. Just getting a worksheet and practicing it is boring and not individualized. With my method, students take control and choose one word to practice for the following week.
Traditionally, I usually send homework to kids that are highly motivated to change their articulation. I don’t send homework to every child because usually it’s forgotten about and not meaningful. However, with the one-word articulation homework approach, it’s meaningful for all of the students. It’s even meaningful for the ones who are not always highly motivated to practice their speech sounds. One word artic homework does not feel burdensome like other articulation homework. If it’s a word that they use frequently enough it comes up during their life so that they get multiple trials over a seven day period. I challenge you to try the one word articulation homework method and see how positively it impacts your students’ abilities to produce speech sounds.