Traditional Articulation Approach

The traditional articulation approach developed by Van Riper in 1978. It uses a hierarchy moving towards mastery of target phonemes.

Who It's For:

Children with articulation errors (not phonological errors). This approach is best for children who can remain focused and are able to follow articulatory placement directions.

How It's Practiced:

You will target one sound at a time moving through the hierarchy which consists of isolation, syllables, words, phrases, sentences, and conversation level until mastery.

You can target only one sound or use a multiple phonemic approach and target more than one sound per session.

Auditory Perceptual Training

You will teach the child the target sound in child-friendly terms. Then you will identify it in words in various positions. Next, you will model the target sound and errored sound for the child to discriminate whether the sounds are the same or different.


You will teach the client how to make the sound. You will provide immediate knowledge of performance feedback when they are producing the sound whether it is correct or incorrect. There are many elicitation strategies that you can use to provide support during this learning phase.


You can determine generalization by probing untrained targets in words, phrases, and sentences. As well as gathering a conversational speech sound sample. It is best to observe the child and/or communicate with parents/caregivers/teachers to see if the child is using their target sounds outside of therapy sessions.

Download Traditional Articulation Handout Here


Duration varies.


McLeod, S. (2007). The interantional guide to speech acquistion. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Farquharson, K. (2019). It Might Not Be “Just Artic”: The Case for the Single Sound Error. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 4(1), 76–84.

Preston, J.L. & Leece, M.C. (2021). Articulation Interventions. In A.L. Williams, S. McLeod, & R. J. McCauley (Eds.) Interventions for Speech Sound Disorders in Children (2nd ed., pp. 419–445). essay, Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. ‌