However, practicing in one context does not always generalize to new contexts. That is to say, when you sit down to work on your speech by yourself or with your coach, you use your new patterns, but when you talk to a friend or make a business call, old patterns are more likely to emerge. You can change this by intentionally working on generalization of skills. Generalization tends to occur in a hierarchy, and you can move more quickly through the steps by adding some of these activities to your practice regime.
Level of Speech
Phoneme - single sound
Repeated Phrase practice
Structured speaking task
Using target in all settings
Listening awareness: at this level, notice what words have the target sound. Practice with minimal pairs (eg bet vs bed). See if you can discriminate between words with your target sound and those with the error pattern.
Chose a target word with your new sound. Try to notice when you say this word, whether you had the correct sound or your old pattern. If possible, repeat the word correctly if you notice that you said it with the error pattern. Listen for the correct pattern when others say this word.
At this level, focus on listening and repeating the practice phrases (use two-word phrases if needed as a bridge to longer phrases/sentences). You are working on both target sound, and following the intonation patterns.
Once you have reached 80 - 100% correct on listening and repeating, you are ready to create your own sentences using the target words. First say the word, then a sentence using the word. Record yourself and listen, did you say the target word correctly? Did you use your target sound correctly on other words in your sentence?
This step can be done in sync with self-generated sentences. Select a short target word or phrase with common words (eg. that, his, in the, at the etc.). Repeat the phrase with words you would usually use (eg. at the store, at the office, at the movie). This requires you to think of what to say, but allows for repeated practice of the targets.
Once you are able to easily generate sentences using your target sound correctly, you are ready to practice your sound while reading aloud. If helpful, you can highlight your target sound to assist in noting where you need to use your new pattern.
Select a short speaking task, such as ordering coffee, making a brief phone call, or speaking with a colleague. During that interaction, pay attention to the words with your target sound, and try to be sure to use your new pattern.
Choose a longer speaking task, such as a sales call, conversation over a meal, or presentation. Focus on your target sound during the speaking task. If helpful, highlight the sound where it occurs in your notes, or put a sticky note somewhere in view with your target sound as a visual reminder to use the new pattern.
At this point, you will have mostly switched to always using the new pattern for the target sound. You can continue to increase your awareness and generalization practice by using listening practice to notice the target sound. Listen for the target when listening to the radio, audio book or tv. You are also ready to go back through the earlier steps with more than one target sound at a time. (For example, listening to all ending consonants on words, or listening for all continuant sounds.)