Teaching EAR in Isolation & Syllables

In this lesson, you will be learning how to teach your child ‘EAR’ in isolation, or all by itself.

‘EAR’ errors are most noticeable at the end of words.  They might sound like ‘E’ with an ‘ah’ or ‘oh’ at the end.  For instance, ‘here’ might sound like ‘he-ah’, or ‘near’ might sound like ‘nee-oh’.  As with all vocalic ‘R’ errors, the way to fix this involves proper tongue placement, holding the jaw still, and tightening up the muscles of the tongue.  

The ‘EAR’ sound is basically the vowel ‘E’ plus the vocalic ‘R’ sound of ‘ER’.  That is why I usually start teaching ‘ER’ first and then work on the rest of the vocalic ‘R’s later.  However, some kids can get a semi-decent ‘EAR’ sound first.  The steps for making the ‘ER’ part of ‘EAR’ (ee-er) are the same as in the previous ‘ER’ lesson, so I’ll let you review that video and I’ll concentrate on the techniques that are unique to producing ‘EAR’. 

Basically, I explain to the child that ‘EAR’ is just ‘E’ plus ‘ER’.   The ‘E’ sound starts with the mouth very slightly open in a narrow, horizontal oblong shape.  You can model it for your child and have her look in a mirror to imitate you.  Then the tongue goes back and up in the mouth for the ‘ER’ ending.

One thing to note is that ‘EAR’ is one of those sounds that might be confusing for beginning readers, because it is not spelled consistently.  It might be spelled EAR as in, well, ‘ear’, or EER as in ‘cheer’, or even IER as in ‘chandelier’.  Also, the spelling of E-A-R might be pronounced EAR as in ‘fear’ or AIR as in ‘pear’, or AR as in ‘heart’.  English is fun that way!


When your child can produce ‘EAR’ in isolation with 80% accuracy, you can start on syllables, like ‘EARS, EARD, EARB, EARF, and EARG’.  For example, for ‘EARS’, instruct your child to get a good ‘EAR’ FIRST and then move the tongue up behind the teeth to make the final ‘S’ sound.  It might help to use a mirror in front of both of you, or to at least give your child a hand mirror to look at.  Try to make it fun and reward your child for any effort to produce the sound correctly. It can help to separate the ‘EAR’ and the final consonant for a bit, and then have hers gradually say them closer together until she gets it:  EAR—s, EAR—s, EARs.   Practice this at least 3 times.

Review the steps for practicing syllables in the ‘ER’ lesson and apply them here as well.


When your child can produce ‘EAR’ syllables correctly 80% of the time, you can move on to Initial ‘EAR’ in words.  From there, continue to work your way through all the ‘EAR’ levels, as outlined in the How to Teach Your Child Speech course. 

You’ve got this!