The Late Eight are the consonants acquired last by children learning English as a first language, and are the consonants most likely to challenge children and adults learning English as a non-native language. Over 90% of school clinicians work with students who experience difficulty learning one or more of the late eight. This course addresses current issues arising in treating the late eight, including: Why are the late eight late? Do the late eight belong in school? Should the late eight be treated using an articulation approach? How can students with good speech perception have discrimination problems? Should a clinician treat a stimulable sound? What are good phonetic placement and shaping techniques? What is the most important reason a person improves in treatment?
Ken Bleile is a university professor at the University of Northern Iowa. He received his advanced degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa before completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Bleile is the recipient of the State of Iowa’s Regent’s Scholar Award and UNI’s Fine Arts Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Bleile is an ASHA Fellow and served twice as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. He is the former Chair of ASHA’s International Issues Board, and is a recipient of the association’s Multicultural Board’s Diversity Champion Award. Dr. Bleile publishes widely on speech development, international issues, and communication disorders in children with medical needs and developmental disabilities.
The chapter identifies which consonants belong to the late eight. The discussion focuses on why certain consonants are late acquisitions. The tradeoff between size of consonant inventory and word length is described.
The chapter argues that students’ discrimination problems almost always are unrelated to problems in speech perception. Students’ “discrimination problems” really may be problems with attention and focus. Techniques to promote discrimination are provided.
The chapter defines phonetic placement and shaping. It is explained why not all students respond well to the same technique. Demonstrations of techniques are provided as well.
The chapter explores the idea of which factor contributes most to treatment success, the approach or the clinician? The educational and clinician implications of both positions are discussed. While recognizing that both are important, it is hypothesized that the clinician is the primary factor in treatment success.