Articulation worksheets are learning materials primarily used by speech therapists to help children and adults who have speech disorders learn to enunciate individual letter sounds, blends and words. Depending on the age of the individual receiving speech therapy services, articulation worksheets might contain only pictures; letters or words with pictures; or only words or letter blends, such as "bl" and "tr." Sometimes speech therapists incorporate articulation cards into speech therapy games to reinforce learning and phonological awareness simultaneously with a fun activity.
Speech therapists routinely evaluate their clients' communication needs and adjust therapy sessions accordingly. When the speech therapist identifies speech disorders that affect an individual's ability to enunciate sounds, the therapist chooses the appropriate articulation activities, which might include speech therapy games that use articulation cards or pronunciation games that use articulation worksheets. Increasing an individual's phonological awareness — the ability to recognize, identify and handle speech sounds — is the primary objective of articulation worksheets.
Articulation disorders affecting an individual's ability to pronounce words might stem from either receptive or expressive language disorders, or both. A receptive language disorder impairs an individual's ability to hear, process and understand spoken words, and an expressive language disorder restricts an individual’s ability to speak and convey words in their proper context. A lack of phonological awareness typically afflicts both receptive and expressive areas of communication. If an individual does not first recognize specific speech sounds, he or she will be unable to successfully form words to communicate with others. Articulation worksheets can address both the receptive and expressive sides of language by helping individuals first recognize and enunciate speech sounds, rather than addressing the meanings of words.
The variations of specific communication disorders are numerous, and several are relevant and appropriate in regard to the value of articulation worksheets. The most common articulation disorders affect the enunciation of sounds or words, particularly omissions, deletions, changes and additions of sounds or letters. A child who has an articulation disorder, for instance, might say "wike" for "like" or "ghetti" for "spaghetti." Articulation activities for this child may therefore include worksheets or cards that have pictures and words beginning with "l" or blends such as "bl" and "pl" to provide pronunciation practice for that sound. To address the omission or deletion of initial syllables, the speech therapist might choose a speech therapy game with multiple-syllable words, such as "banana" and "spaghetti," to help the child recognize and practice enunciation of entire words.