T Sounds

The letter T has a variety of sounds depending on where it falls in a word or sentence and the letters around it. In some cases, it sounds like a D, and at others it sounds like ch. Sometimes, we don’t even say it all. This can be a bit overwhelming for learners so how do we help? 

What is your goal?

I’ve said this before, but it helps to be clear about your goal. In a single class, it’s highly unlikely any students will memorize the individual rules for using T sounds, and master their pronunciation in such a way that they have perfect pronunciation from now on. 

So, what is the goal? 
This depends on what your students can already say and why you are covering this topic. Are you trying to help a student with one particular sound, or have they asked you to help them with T sounds and accent reduction in general? 

Here’s what has worked for me.
1. Set students up with a baseline by looking at a few words with the true T sound as in today, pretend, tattoo, italics

2. Focus on one group of sounds the student is struggling with and run through LOTS of examples. 

That’s it. Don’t try to overdo it. When you see your student succeeding with a group of sounds, it’s VERY tempting to try just one more. Resist that urge, and focus on the sounds you really need today. 

Note: I created this worksheet based on information I found at Pronuncian.com, a fantastic resource of information about English pronunciation.  As such, I’m posting it here as I’m not charging for it. 

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