Cued Articulation [CA] was devised by Speech and Language Therapist Jane Passy in the late 1970s. It is an original system which uses simple hand cues to show where and how speech sounds are made.

A teacher and student looking at phonemic chart

Each of the 49 sounds (phonemes) which make up the English Phonological System has a separate hand sign. The signs are logical and based on linguistic theory. The consonant sounds are colour coded as an extra visual clue in written work.

Cued Articulation’s particular benefit for ESOL and EAL is that it is both a visual and cognitive approach to tackling pronunciation difficulties. Cued Articulation can be used for individuals, pairs and small groups and also as an adjunct to basic literacy work in whole-class teaching. CA’s sound linguistic basis means it fits in with any teaching method used in the classroom.

It is particularly valuable as an alternative approach to tackling pronunciation difficulties. It helps learners to discriminate between, and use, sounds which do not occur in their 1st languages. For instance, errors of positioning when using vowels are a common problem and CA gives a visual cue to show where the vowel is produced e.g. front, back or central.

It is a helpful tool to promote reading fluency, particularly in blending and segmenting multi-syllable words. Additionally, CA has a practical application in the learning of new vocabulary.

To use CA in its most simple form, the practitioner only needs knowledge of the system, 12 coloured pencils and enthusiasm. As tutors become familiar with the system they will realise how useful CA is, and in how many situations it can be used.

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