Activate ReciteMe accessibility assistance Print this page

Stage 5 - Error Detection

Error detection means being able to hear the difference between two similar sounding words (e.g. “ben and pen”) and identifying the correct word. They could be real or made up words.

Error detection is an important skill for children to develop. It helps them to understand that sounds make up words, and that changes in speech sounds affect how a word is heard and understood by others. For example “can I have the key” and “can I have the tea” would get different responses. 

Listening to how other people make mistakes helps children to monitor their own speech. It also takes the pressure off them to ‘say’ the words, as they are correcting you instead! It is fun for a child to sometimes play the role of a teacher!

  • Beginning sounds

    Find a selection of objects (toys, household items etc.) or pictures beginning with a range of sounds (e.g. soap, pen, book, fork, cup, dog etc.).

    Tell your child that they are going to be your teacher for a little while, and that they need to listen carefully to how you say a word. They need to tell you if you are saying it right or a bit funny!

    Draw a happy and a sad face. When your child hears you say the word correctly, encourage them to put the picture or object by the happy face. If your child hears you say the word incorrectly, encourage them to place it by the sad face.

    Begin by missing off the first sound completely (e.g. say ‘ook’ for book). Once your child is able to identify when you have done this, begin to change the first sound for a different sound (e.g. ‘cook’ or ‘took’ for book). Remember to say the word correctly sometimes!

    Once your child has identified that you’ve said a word incorrectly, correct yourself (e.g. “silly me. It’s
    book, not cook”). Place a slight emphasis on the altered sound.

    Final Sounds

    Play the same game as above, but this time miss off the last sound of a word (e.g. “lea” for leaf or
    “boa” for boat).

    When your child is able to do that, change the last sound (e.g. “leat” or “boaf”).

    It is great if others get involved too, such as brothers and sisters or friends. Always remember to give your child lots of encouragement, and have fun!

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Norfolk & Waveney Speech & Language Therapy Service by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below. 


Log In / Create an account

  • @ccs_nhst @StClements @ChatHealthNHS NorfolkCYP / 27 October 2021
  • 🚋 Trains reach speeds of 125mph. It might be too late by the time you hear them coming. Make sure children and youn… NorfolkCYP / 27 October 2021
  • 👏 📱 💬 We are excited to have the students at St Clements High join us as #ChatHealth Ambassadors, and have more you… NorfolkCYP / 27 October 2021
  • RT @FISnorfolk: If you know a new parent in #Norfolk who's feeling low, alone or overwhelmed, the ECFS's group activities or one-to-one sup… NorfolkCYP / 27 October 2021
  • RT @CCSNHSResearch: @uniofeastanglia @UeaMed @AddictionUea are working with Norfolk health visiting services to deliver Babybreathe: an inn… NorfolkCYP / 26 October 2021
  • ⚠️ This half term make sure your children and teens know the dangers of hanging out and playing near railways. Find… NorfolkCYP / 26 October 2021
  • RT @ccs_nhst: Large-scale #CovidVaccination sites across #Norfolk & #Waveney have extended their opening hours to make it even easier for p… NorfolkCYP / 25 October 2021
  • 💬 #ChatHealthNorfolk is here all through half term if your teen aged 11-19 needs someone to talk to. Just get them… NorfolkCYP / 25 October 2021
  • We are still here, but we do get quite busy! You can leave us a voicemail, text us on 07520631590 or search on… NorfolkCYP / 25 October 2021
  • 👉Norfolk Professionals! You can have FREE access to online Solihull courses designed for professionals. Visit… NorfolkCYP / 22 October 2021

Our Partners

Close the mobile menu