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Get to Know Your Speech Sounds: /g/
How is the Sound Produced?
  • /g/ is typically made with the back of the tongue placed on the velum, the soft part of the roof of the mouth.
  • Teeth are apart with the jaw dropped.
  • Air builds up behind the tongue and is released when the sound is made.
  • The voice is on; the vocal cords are vibrating.
When Does the Sound Develop?*
  • 50% of children produce the /g/ sound by age 2. This is when the sound is emerging.
  • 90% of children produce the /g/ sound by age 4. This is when the sound should be acquired. If the child is not producing the sound by this point, speak with a speech-language pathologist.
Common Errors
  • /g/ is an early developing consonant sound.
    — The tongue comes forward in the mouth, and /d/ is substituted for /g/ (e.g., “gear” becomes “dear”).
    — The vocal folds do not vibrate, and /k/ is substituted for /g/ (e.g., “goat” becomes “coat”).
  • /g/ is impacted by the phonological process of fronting: sounds made in the back of the mouth /k/ and /g/ are substituted for sounds made in the front of the mouth /t/ and /d/ (e.g., “keep” becomes “teep”, “gate” becomes “date”). This process should be gone by age 4.
Tips for Cueing**
  1. Verbal
    • “Scrunch your tongue”.
    • “Push your tongue to the back of your mouth.”
    • “Make the ‘go’ noise. Go, go, go!”
  2. Visual
    • Show the student the picture above. Ask the child to describe how the tongue, lips, and jaw look.
    • In front of a mirror, show the difference between how the error sound is made and how the /g/ is made. For example, if the child is substituting /d/ for /g/, point out how the tongue is forward during the /d/ sound and how the tongue is back for the /g/ sound.
    • Point backwards before a word with an /g/ sound to remind the child to keep the back of their tongue at the top of their mouth.
  3. Tactile
    • Lay on the floor. Relax the tongue, and notice how it falls to the back of the mouth. The back of the tongue should be touching the roof of the mouth. Say the /g/ sound.
Practice***
  • The /g/ sound can be spelled with both “g” and “gg”. Although many words are spelled with the letter “g”, they do not make the /g/ sound. This is a soft “g”, which makes a “j” sound (e.g., gym). The following words focus on the hard “g” sound. The /g/ sound is underlined in these practice targets.
    –Phonemic Awareness
    • Name each picture. Point to the pictures with the /g/ sound.†
    –Isolation
    • g-g-g
    • g-g-b-g-g-b
    • g-d-g-d-g-d
    –Syllable
    • ga-ga-ga-ga-ga-ga
    • ig-ig-ig-ig-ig
    • ega-ega-ega-ega-ega
    • gee-ga-gee-ga-gee-ga
    • gee-ga-geh-go-gee-ga-geh-go
Initial Final Medial Recurring Blend
gift
garden
gopher
bag
frog
hot dog
sugar
August
alligator
gag
goggles
garbage bag
grape
global
grandmother
  • –Phrase
    • loud, blue guitar
    • tug of war
    • spaghetti and meatballs
    • big, pink gum bubble
    • giggle at googly eyes
    • a grand igloo
    –Sentence
    • Bret won the game.
    • The pirates dug for treasure.
    • I like my hamburger with cheese.
    • The tiger and gorilla are scared of the bug.
    • Google the gaggle of geese.
    • The green grass glistened with dew.
    –Structured Lanauage
    • Have a race with toy cars or trucks. To make your car drive, say “Go! Go! Go!” using your best /g/ sound.
    • Draw a picture of a doggy named Gus. Explain your picture using the words “doggy”, “wag”, and “Gus” with your best /g/ sound.
    • Sing “Ol’ McDonald”. Have the child chime in with the animals “pig”, “goat”, and “dog”. Use pictures from cards or a book to remind the child of those animals.
    –Unstructured Lanauage
    • Talk about your favorite toys using your best /g/ sound.
    • Sing your favorite song using your best /g/ sound.
    • Talk about a picture in a book using your best /g/ sound.
*These milestones are based on monolingual, native English speakers. If a child speaks more than one language, acquisition of English sounds can be influenced by the other language(s). These differences do not necessarily indicate a speech sound disorder. Please consult with a speech-language pathologist.
**Not all cues are appropriate in all cases. Please consult with a speech-language pathologist before cueing.
***Ask your child’s speech-language pathologist which targets are appropriate to practice.
† “Goalie”, “juggle”, and “ladybug” contain the /g/ sound.
Resources
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.) Age of Customary Consonant Production. (Practice Portal). Retrieved August, 16, 2022, from www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Clinical-Topics/Articulation-and-Phonology/.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.) Selected Phonological Processes. (Practice Portal). Retrieved August, 16, 2022, from www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Clinical-Topics/Articulation-and-Phonology/.
 
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