December 7th, 2013

Ready for S-What about Z?

It’s interesting that I often help children to say S correctly, but rarely even address the Z sound.  When we say these sounds we do the same thing with our tongue and jaw, but with the Z sound we vibrate our vocal cords at the same time.  Try touching your throat while you make an S sound.  Your vocal cords are open, so you don’t feel much. Now try making a sound. You’ll feel the vibration.

The point is,  if you say S incorrectly, you’ll make the same mistake with  Z .  However, there are many words in English that have S and not as many with Z.  Where Z does come up more often is in plurals.  This week I explained to a parent who hadn’t noticed that in English  we often pronounce plurals with  Z. 

Try these words with your hand on your throat. See if you can tell which ones are the snake sound –S and which ones are the bee sound- Z.

cups      bugs      ads      rats      packages      locks      foxes     hairs      cabs     clothes

To keep it simple I usually focus on S and worry about Z  later, but if  plurals are the target I have to talk about both sounds.  If you’re working on plurals you can use these reminders; “Don’t forget the snake sound” or “Don’t forget the bee sound”.



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