KT for Chinese Speakers

esl-studentsHere’s help for Chinese speakers to get a more American English sound. When consonantsc” (k) and “t” are in the middle of a word (like “practice”), or between two words in a phrase, (like “take two”), hold out the vowel just before the “k” sound, then make a gentle, quiet “k” linked to the “t”.

DO NOT fully pronounce the ‘k’ sound or it will sound like pra  KA  tice (practice) or da KA tor (doctor).

Listen to the audio here.

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pra——>  ktis


do——-> ktor


a——-> ktiv



Free printable list of KT words here.



Free R Screener – Articulation of All Positions of R

free R articulation screenerToday I’m sharing my Free Printable – R Screener.

When kids have trouble saying their R sound, I find there are usually a couple of words where they get it right.  Sometimes they can say their vocalic R like are, ear, or, air, ire and erSometimes they can do R consonant blends well, like  free, truck, present and three.  Sometimes they can even do a good intial R, like red, right and run Not usually all of these though, and that’s why they come to speech therapy!

When they have a couple of good Rs, it’s easier to teach the ones they need.  This screener will help you determine which Rs they have and help you build on those.

Kind in mind, kids need to have good control of their tongue and jaw in order to make a good R.  The tongue is usually tensed and pulled to the back of the mouth and pressed tightly up against the skin on the inside of the upper teeth on the right and left sides. So check for myofunctional skills and help them in this area, if needed.

If you like my free R Screener, you may like my Initial R, Vocalic R, R Blends Assessment Comprehensive on Teachers Pay Teachers

Making a Prayer Closet When You Have No Closet

prayer closetI recently posted a new page on my faith and talked about how I made a “prayer closet”.  You can click on the page at the top – “My Christian Faith” to see more:

“I was raised in a Christian household, so from an early age, I learned to love Jesus and follow his teachings. As a Christian, I am not superior to anyone, since I know I am lost, and Jesus saves me.  The journey of faith is lifelong, and what I knew in my childhood has grown into a more mature Christian faith as an adult.

Recently I went to see War Room, which is a movie about prayer (and not about war).  It encouraged me to make a “prayer closet” in my home.  This idea comes from the Bible verse, in Matthew 6:6 ” When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Read more here.

More on the Soft T (American T)

Soft T Pronounced like DAmerican English T has some unusual rules.  Today I’d like to review soft T in words like quality, priority, and celebrity,  When conversing in English words ending in -ity are reduced and are usually pronounced -ədee [uh + dee].  This soft T sounds like a D.  This is a common occurrence for connected speech in English.  It is only when we say the single word that we may fully pronounce the T.

quality = kwal ədee

priority = pri yor ədee

celebrity = su le brədee

Practice saying  soft T with this free printable worksheet.


Christmas Quandary – A Poem

Guest post today featuring my daughter, college student, and writer, Sarah Gallay. She’s loved writing since she was in the fifth grade (and probably even before then).  She enjoys writing  poetry and science fiction fantasy, and is currently working a historical fantasy novel.

Christmas Quandary — by Sarah Gallay

Christmas Quandry PixBag on my arm, keys in my hand…
And though the parking lot’s too full
Cars still inch down the aisle, red faces
None too cheery, all seeking the elusive
Empty space. “Hey, lady, heading out?”
I shake my head and the man drives on.
How can I stay in those packed corridors
And stores promising the perfect present
Factory-made for a million different people?
And how can I leave with only this bag
Swinging on my arm, the lonely box inside
Waiting to be wrapped and under the tree?
Is it ever enough?

“Oh, sorry about that.”
I rub my arm where her car door bumped me
And look at this girl who’s everything I’m not,
Cell phone, make-up and an outfit
Pulled from the fashion magazines
I’ve never read. I can feel her gaze too,
Focused at the single bag on my arm,
And I guess the question before she asks,
“Are you having a tough year? Can’t buy
Many presents?”

Why this assumption
In the present age of consumerism, the logic
That I don’t have enough money, rather than
Choose not to spend it all? Still, I can’t choose
To be anything less than polite. “Not at all.
It’s been a good year, in more ways than one,
And I could afford more than one present.
But a gift is more than just the money
You’ve spent and the receipt to return it
In case it doesn’t suit them.”

“So why
Are you even at the mall then, if you don’t like
Buying presents?” And there’s the accusation
Calling out blasphemy against the god
And savior of the season: debit, credit, cash,
Paper or plastic? Would you like it gift-wrapped?
And here’s a free present that in no way
Makes up for all the hours and energy
And money you’ve spent and still think
You ought to spend.

“I won’t claim
Not to be a hypocrite. Who could know, except
Maybe the giver of the very first Christmas,
That two thousand years would turn
A straw-filled manger into a gift-wrapped box,
Heavenly hymns into commercial jingles,
And a holy sacrifice for peace on Earth
Into frantic, debt-filled days. But
Don’t you see, in the midst of all this,
The first gift is still here, hidden, maligned,
Ignored even as it inspired all the others
For the first gift has always been enough.”

And it is enough, as I step into my car
And drive away, leaving the girl still thinking
Or maybe ignoring everything I had to say
For her thoughts are her own. No fault of the giver
If the gift’s not accepted. It is enough
To remember no matter what presents
I give and receive, they all point to a gift
Worth more than even money can buy.