how to pronounce s sound

This pronunciation lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children to help them pronounce the letter ‘r’ using its phonic sound.

Learning phonic sounds is important for children as this helps them read faster and more fluently. This is the first step in learning spelling and vocabulary.

In our previous video lesson, we learned about phonics, the importance of learning phonics, and the phonic sound of the letter ‘r’. This video lesson is the 19th in a row of learning the sound of letters. 

Why is it Important to Learn Phonic Sounds?

Phonics is important for children as they enable them to decipher written English. Decoding is an absolutely necessary skill, as it is the basis for learning to read. 

Children who have learnt through phonics have outstanding phonemic awareness which is the ability to hear, identify and deploy the letter with its appropriate sound.

Finally, phonetics lessons can end prematurely if children are given enough guidance to approach unfamiliar words with confidence. But initially, every child needs to be exposed to sound in a systematic and defined way.

What is the Sound of ‘s’?

The sound of the letter /s/ is a part of consonant pairs and is called ‘Voiceless alveolar sibilant, which means friction is created from clenched teeth, which leads the airflow through the tip of the tongue.

The sound /s/ is voiceless or unvoiced (the vocal cords do not vibrate) and corresponds to the voiced “Z sound” /z/. The /s/ is a continuous consonant, which means it can be produced for a few seconds with even and smooth pronunciation for that duration.

How to Pronounce the Letter ‘s’ with Examples?

To create the /s/, the front of the tongue is placed close to the tooth ridge. Loosen your mouth and move the tip of your tongue closer to the back of your teeth without touching them.The front sides of the tongue touch the side teeth toward the front of the mouth. The lips are held slightly tense during the sound. Gently blow air between your teeth to make a hissing sound.

Letter ‘s’ used in words with /s/ sound: 

Sun, sink, snowman, snake, sip, sort, etc.

How to Introduce the Pronunciation of the ‘s’ to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them, today we are going to learn the sound of the letter ‘s’ produces.
  2. Show the child how the letter ‘s’ looks like and what is the sound of the letter ‘s’.
  3. Say it several times by producing the /s/ sound.
  4. Ask the child to repeat the sound after you.
  5. Show the child a picture or miniature of words starting with s such as snail. 
  6. Repeat the sound of ‘s’ every time while showing the image of the snail. 
  7. Now show another picture that starts with s and again pronounces the letter ‘s’ sound.
  8. Encourage the child to make the sound of ‘s’ whenever the picture is shown to them.

List of Activities to Introduce the Letter ‘s’ Sound to the Child 

  • S for snake – Make a shape of the alphabet S with a width of half an inch and let the child color it and decorate it. Let them pronounce s-snake as they keep working on it.
  • S for a sip – Allow the child to sip their favorite milkshake or juice with a straw. With every sip, the child can pronounce s-sip.
  • S for sun – Give a paper plate to the children and tell them to color it yellow. With safe scissors, they can cut thin strips of 1 inch each within the circle of the plate from the edges. Let them pronounce s-sun.
  • Playing sitting and standing-up games with children would be fun for them and they can shout s-sit each time they sit.

Such activities can be added to day-to-day life, which is fun for the children and is an easy learning way. While bathing, children can say s-soap as well.

This video allows the child to explore the short consonant sound of the English letter ‘S’ and learn words starting with it, such as snail, scissors, strawberry, snowman, snake, and sand clock. The sounds are repeated for each word so that the child can hear and pronounce the letter accurately.

Related Pronunciation Videos:

  1. Pronunciation of the letter ‘j’
  2. Pronunciation of the letter ‘m’
  3. Pronunciation of the letter ‘r’
  4. Pronunciation of the letter ‘t’

For more pronunciation and English language resources, click here

Video created by: Strykun Olena


  • english language
  • language development
  • phonic sound
  • primary level
  • pronunciation