PG-2: EF-H1
PRACTICE SYNCHRONIZING CUES WITH
INITIAL CONSONANT CLUSTERS

Because synchronization of cues with speech movements is essential, one should keep in mind the suggestions in the "Beginning Lessons":
  1. Say the syllables out loud as you cue them;
  2. Watch your practice attempts in a mirror to monitor synchronization visually; and
  3. Lightly touch the mouth, chin, and throat positions for tactile feedback of synchronization.
These suggestions work most efficiently when one is cueing simple syllables containing a consonant plus vowel ('me' "see"), a vowel plus consonant ("eat" "up"), a consonant-vowel-consonant ("wash" "ring"), or even simple syllable sequences ("see her do it" "Timothy" "Mary Ann" etc.). One can easily slow down such spoken syllables to accommodate hand and finger movements.

Consonant clusters at the beginning of syllables pose additional problems. "Suh-kuh-wash" is not "squash," and "suh-puh-ring" is not "spring." Handshapes and movements must be trained to catch up with natural articulation rates. Some cuers achieve this with very little frustration. Most learn efficiently. One practical strategy is to begin with those initial consonant clusters which have built-in duration and allow for less precise synchronization. You should be able to achieve good synchronization very quickly with the following practice sets, because the speech sounds in the initial clusters are all continuants.

/sm/ "Mel-smell" "mall-small" "mile=smile" "myth-Smith"      "mug-smug" 
"mock-smock" "mack-smack' "mart-smart"
/sn/ "no-snow" "near-snear" "nap-snap" "nip-snip"
     "nack-snack" "nake-snake" "noopy-snoopy"
/sl/ "low-slow" "leap-sleep" "lice-slice" "light-slight"
     "lob-slob" "lept-slept" "liver-sliver" "led-sled"
     "lay-sleigh" "lab-slab" "limb-slim" "lumber-slumber"
/fl/ "lie-fly" "lint-flint" "lair-flare""lore-floor"
     "Lynn-Flynn" "lake-flake" "lock-flock" 
Once you are comfortable with the above continuant clusters, push yourself to say and cue them with a little more snap. Don't be satisfied until you can cue them as fast as you can say them. The following initial clusters are a bit more demanding because the /r/ and /w/ sounds are consonant glides with built-in "snap." One cannot slow them down without distorting them as speech sounds.

/sw/ "well-swell" "wet-sweat" "wine-swine" "warm-swarm"
     "wap-swap" "wan-swan" "wim-swim" "watt-swat" 
     "wade-suede" "weed-Swede" 
/fr/ "root-fruit" "rye-fry" "round-frowned" "read-freed"
     "runt-front" "resh-fresh" "rum-from" "wrench-French"
     "Rhet-fret" "ran-Fran" "raid-frayed" "rants-France"
/shr/ "ub-shrub" "rude-shrewd" "Rhine-shrine" "shrimp"
     "shrink" "shrapnel" "Shreveport" "shroud" "shrunk"
Because the following clusters contain plosives as well as continuants and glides, synchronization skills must be more precise. Don't give up on them until you can cue to your natural rate of articulation.

/st/ "team-steam" "top-stop" "tore-store" "tan-Stan"
     "tie-sty" "stall" "stew" "still" "stun" "style"
     "stiff" "stand" "store"
/sk/ "Kate-skate" "cool-school" "called-scald" "kin-skin"
     "cope-scope" "scoop" "skirt" "scott" "scout" "scamp"
     "skimp" "scheme" 
/tw/ "twin" "twelve" "twine" "twice" "twist" "twig" 
/dw/ "Dwayne" "dwarf" "dwindle" "dwelling" "Dwight"
/pr/ "pray" "proud" "pry" "pro" "prune" "pretty" "priest"
     "prom" "pressed" "presto" "Pringles" "promise"
/tr/ "try" "tray" "true" "truck" "track" "tree" "trouble"
     "tramp" "trumpet" "Troy" "trek" "trip" "troop" 
/dr/ "drink" "dress" "dry" "drove" "drive" "drum" "drip"
/br/ "bread" "broad" "brother" "brand" "bring" "bride"
By now you should be ready to practice synchronizing the most challenging initial consonant clusters. Don't let yourself slow down articulation to accommodate your finger; better to build the clusters as demonstrated in the first few examples:

/spr/ "ray-pray-spray" "rye-pry-spry" "ring-pring-spring"
      "spread" "sprat" "sprocket" "sprinkle" "sprung"
      "sprain" "spree" "sprig" "sprint" "spruce"
/str/ "straight" "strain" "strap" "street" "streak"
      "stream" "stretch" "strike" "string" "strong"
      "struck" "stride" "stroke" "strict" "stress"
/skr/ "scrap" "scrape" "scratch" "scream" "screen" "screw"
      "scram" "scribble" "scrimmage" "scrimp" "Scrabble"
/skw/ "squad" "squall" "square" "squash" "squeak" 
      "squeeze" "squint" "squire" "squirrel" "squirt"
      "squid"
For further practice with initial consonant clusters, turn to PG-2: EF-H2 .


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