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LSL Strategies

Create a Listening Sandwich by beginning and ending with audition only, just like two pieces of bread complete a sandwich.

The middle part of the sandwich is any technique you use to promote your child's understanding of language or to enhance their ability to hear the different sounds of speech in words or phrases. By sandwiching the helpful technique between listening without any cues to help, you give your child multiple opportunities to hear and understand. This strategy — also called auditory sandwich — can be used both to promote your child's understanding of language and to enhance their speech production.

Promote Language Understanding

Use this strategy when you think your child isn't understanding what you're saying. Lead with saying the phrase or sentence through audition only. Then, if your child doesn't understand, you can repeat, rephrase, or provide a visual support such as a look or pointing toward the object. Follow up with saying it again through audition only.

What It Looks Like

Notice when your child doesn’t seem to fully understand what you’re saying. Create a listening sandwich by starting with audition only and directing your child to "Go get your shoes."

If your child looks puzzled and doesn't understand:

  • Repeat and emphasize the important words: "Go get your shoes."
  • Rephrase: "Go get shoes for your feet."
  • Provide visual help: Look toward the shoes and point to them.

As your child moves to get the shoes, finish the listening sandwich through audition only by saying, "Yes, go get your shoes," as you normally would say it.

Icon for Create a Listening Sandwich LSL Strategy

When you Create a Listening Sandwich, you're helping your child learn new vocabulary words and understand spoken language.

Enhance Speech Production

Use this same strategy when your child has difficulty pronouncing a word or has errors in the way they’re saying it. First say the word or phrase through audition only. Then provide acoustic highlighting to emphasize a specific sound or word. And lastly, say the word or phrase again through audition only.

Notice when your child has errors in their speech or difficulty saying a word.

What It Looks Like

Notice when your child has errors in their speech or difficulty saying a word. Create a listening sandwich by starting with audition only and highlighting the missed sound.

If you're reading about a snake and your child says "I see a nake."

  • Use acoustic highlighting to emphasize the /s/ sound in the word snake. You could say, "Yes, I see the snake."
  • Lean in closer and say, "Listen! Ssssssnake."
  • Wait for your child to repeat "ssssnake" including the /s/ sound.

Always finish the listening sandwich with audition only, by saying the word in a phrase without extra emphasis. Say it as you normally would in regular conversation. "Yes, I see the snake too. He is long and brown."

Icon for Create a Listening Sandwich LSL Strategy

When you Create a Listening Sandwich, you're helping your child clearly hear and say all the sounds in words and phrases so they can better develop their speech skills.