In this next part, we will begin using the TH sound within conversational speech. Before getting to that final step, however, we will be continuing to “climb to the top of the ladder.”
Previously, we learned how to use the TH sound in isolation, in syllables, and within words. Mastering a sound within spontaneous speech typically requires practice within phrases and sentences.
4) Once the sound is successfully achieved within words, it is important to work on phrases. A phrase can be thought of as a small grouping of connected words. For example, “see a thorn.” When practicing, it is typically helpful to use a repeated phrase, replacing only the target word (for example, “see a thumb,” “see a tooth,” etc.).
5) Once you’re comfortable using the TH sound within phrases, you’ll move on to sentences. It is helpful to grab a magazine, book, or newspaper article for this very important step as you red aloud. Also, listening closely to your favorite TV show or movie can help in terms of how the TH sound is pronounced in standard American English.
6) This final step requires ongoing practice and is typically the most challenging. When you’re reading from a book, you are looking at the sounds/words; but when speaking conversationally, words and thoughts flow most clearly. Using the TH sound in conversation and within a variety of situations is key: over the phone, in a restaurant, and during presentations.
Overall, mastering a sound takes patience and a lot of practice!