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Pronunciation … How Do We Make Sounds? 

Why is it that some children have difficulty to speak?
Pronunciation and the making of sounds is done by moving the tongue, jaw, teeth, lips and roof of the throat with the presence of specific air wave and vocal cords.

A child who has a difficulty in the pronunciation of some letters, is a child who has difficulty moving the tongue and lips … etc.  that s/he needs to produce a particular sound such as the letter “R” or “T” (especially in the Arabic language) …


Is the difficulty to pronounce the same among all children?
Speech difficulties vary in degree. In cases where a child finds difficult to pronounce properly and the difficulty is severe, it could be difficult to understand the child’s speech.

Does the age of the child affect the difficulty in pronunciation?
The child’s age is an important factor; the developmental nature of speech is influenced by the age of the child.

When a 7-year-old has difficulty pronouncing sounds like example “M”, “B”, “T”,  this means that s/he suffers from a more severe disorder than a child of his or her age, who makes mistakes in the pronunciation of late developmental sounds only like “gh” (in Arabic). 

Are there sounds more difficult to pronounce than others?
The sound “R” is one of the sounds that is hard to pronounce because of the nature of the tongue and there is little flow of breath when spoken. It is a letter that combines intensity and softness; hence the sound is not held nor does it flow.

It also features repetition. In cases of weakness of the muscles of the tongue is difficult to pronounce as it softens flexibility and softness in the muscles of the tongue.

Difficulty in pronouncing is also related to the developmental nature of the process and that of speech. One of the difficulties of a large number of children face leads some of them to replace the “r” with the “gh”, “l”, or “y” (in Arabic).

How do we know if a child has trouble speaking and how is the diagnosis done?
It is important to consult a speech and language specialist to diagnose the condition and identify therapy methods.

It may be through a specialist who works independently of who is affiliated with a specialized center for diagnosis of learning difficulties.

Useful References:

اضطرابات النطق ( الاسباب – الانواع – التشخيص – العلاج). الموقع: أكاديمية علم النفس

Mommy Speech Therapy (website with resources).

Tableau d’acquisition des phonemes. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

Williamson, G. (2014). Speech Sound Development Chart. Retrieved from:

Emily Hoppin

A native from the state of Colorado, USA, Emily first came to Lebanon in 2016 to volunteer teach at a summer English camp for refugees hosted by one of LSESD’s partner churches in Zahle. Upon arriving in Lebanon, she immediately fell in love with the country and knew that she was destined to come back for the long term. After completing her master’s degree in Linguistics at the Free University of Berlin, Emily was finally able to realize her dream of moving to Lebanon. In August 2019, Emily Hoppin joined the LSESD team as its Communications Officer. “Working at LSESD is like putting that missing piece into a puzzle. For the first time in my life, everything fits,” she states. With a knack for languages, writing, and connecting with people, Emily feels as though all of her skills, talents, and passions have finally come together in one place through her work at LSESD. Just as her first name means “industrious”, Emily believes in hard work and perseverance. Allowing Colossians 3:23 to guide her work ethic, Emily seeks to serve the Lord in her role at LSESD with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength.

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