The SH sound can be one of the trickier sounds to produce –and teach to a student, client, or patient. But with some patience and practice, your student can get their tongue in position in no time!
Most Common Sound Substitution
First of all, the most common sound substitution for SH is the S sound. In the video above I walk you through the process by which you can shape the SH from the S sound. Why S? Because it is the sound most students produce instead of the SH, but there’s more. They are both fricative sounds that differ by the placement of the tongue. The S sound is considered to be an alveolar sound, while the SH sound is a palatal.
How to Produce the SH Sound
To make the SH sound, start by putting the tip of your tongue up. Start with the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, but move your tongue tip further back. Then, make a steady stream of air while pulling your tongue back towards your throat. Keep the tongue still while the air passes through.
Then round your lips. That’s one of the big differences between the S sound and the SH sound. The SH sound has rounded lips while for S your lips are retracted. That’s why one of the cues for the SH sound is actually shushing someone with your finger vertically in front of your pursed lipsl.
The SH sound is a fricative, which means you create a steady stream of air that comes over your tongue. Be sure that the air is channeled in the middle of the tongue and comes out the middle of the mouth by the front teeth. What we don’t want to do is teach students a “slushy” SH sound with air coming out the sides of the mouth.
Watch the Video for Specifics
I know this video will help you learn the best way to teach the SH sound. Once you have it, drill it over and over again. Repetition is how we learn. Then move from the sound to the syllable level, then to the word level. From there go on to the phrase level, then to the sentence level, and then he self-formulated sentence level. Lastly you get to the conversation level and therapy is complete on the targeted sound.