Articulation refers to the way sounds are produced. An articulation disorder exists when a person is not pronouncing the sounds of his/her native language appropriately for his/her developmental age, and/or cultural group. Articulation patterns that reflect dialectical, cultural, or ethnic variations to standard English or patterns that reflect typical foreign language variations are not considered to be an articulation disorder.

There is a developmental order for the production of speech sounds. Generally speaking, a student should be able to produce all speech sounds correctly by the time he/she is 8 years old. Following is the approximate maximum age at which the majority of native English speaking children typically produce a given consonant sound correctly in words:

  • Age 3: /p,m,h,n,w/
    Age 4: /b,k,g,d,f,y/
    Age 6: /t,ng,r,l/
    Age 7: /ch,sh,j/
    Age 8: /s,z,v,th,zh/

Source: "When Are Speech Sounds Learned?" by E.K. Sander, 1972, Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, Volume 37, p. 62.

Following is the approximate age at which Spanish consonant speech sounds are produced correctly by 90% of children:

  • Age 3: /ch,f,k,m,n,p,t,y/
    Age 4: /b,g,l,r/
    Age 6: /s/
    Age 7: /x,d,rr/

Source: Spanish Language Assessment Procedures - 3rd Edition, by Larry J. Mattes, ACA, p. 62.