Teaching the /h/ sound

The /h/ sound is not covered in the Super Star Speech books because very few children have difficulty with /h/. Those who do generally have hearing impairment or velo-pharyngeal incompetence (caused by a cleft palate). If your child does have difficulty with this sound, here are a few tips to help you teach it.


/H/ is produced by constricting the vocal folds enough to impede airflow, but not enough to make a voiced sound. The mouth, tongue and lips are not involved, but usually take the shape of the vowel sound that follows the /h/.

  • Have the child practice breathing forcefully by saying /h/ or “huh” against a scrap of paper, feather, mirror, or lighted candle. This will give him visual cues as to the forcefulness of breath needed.
  • Practice /h/ with vowels, such as “ha ha” or “he he.” Have him “whisper loudly” or “blow out” the entire syllable.
  • Use ear training to help him discern the difference between a present or absent /h/ sound. Say words with or without the /h/ and have him listen for the /h/ and tell you whether it is present or missing.
  • If there is nasal emission of air with the /h/, holding a mirror under the nose can help to make the child aware of this. Holding the nose closed can help with production of more airflow, although this is certainly not a permanent solution.

Many of the picture cards from Super Star Speech illustrate words with the  /h/ sound and can be used for practice of /h/.

Almost every other consonant sound is covered in the Super Star Speech books.