Handcues may not be a fit for every language learner

Not all learning paths are paved with sounds. At Handcues, we're passionate about unlocking the potential of sound training for language learning. But we also understand that one size doesn't fit all, and what works for some learners might not be the best approach for others.

Today, we want to explore the case of Gestalt Language Processors (GLPs), a unique group of learners whose language acquisition journey takes a different route.

A different way of learning

GLPs, unlike many typical language learners, don't focus on individual sounds and their rules. Instead, they process language holistically, grasping meaning from whole chunks, often called "gestalts." Echolalia is a natural route for this kind of language development. These gestalts can be phrases, sentences, or even entire scripts they've heard before. While their speech may not always be easily understood by others, their comprehension and ability to communicate within their chosen gestalts can be impressive.

Why sounds may not be the right avenue

For GLPs, focusing on the level of individual sounds can be frustrating and counterproductive. It can break down their natural way of processing language, disassembling the meaningful gestalts they rely on and leaving them with fragments they struggle to connect. This can lead to anxiety, discouragement, and ultimately, hinder their progress in communicating effectively.

A more meaningful approach

For GLPs, the emphasis should be on communication and functional use of language, not on perfecting pronunciation or mastering individual sounds. Some alternative approaches that can be more beneficial include:

  • Meaning-based activities:Focus on understanding and expressing thoughts and ideas through activities like picture communication, aided language systems, or writing.
  • Whole-picture learning:Provide access to complete sentences, scripts, or stories that GLPs can grasp holistically and eventually internalize for later use.
  • Supportive environment:Create a safe and encouraging space where GLPs can explore their unique communication style without pressure to conform to traditional language learning norms.

Beyond handcues

While Handcues offers, it's important to recognize that it's not a universal solution. For GLPs, seeking specialized learning methods that cater to their holistic processing style will yield the best results and foster a positive and empowering language learning experience.

Celebrating diversity

Embracing different learning paths and understanding the unique needs of GLP learners is crucial for creating a truly inclusive and accessible language learning landscape. By recognizing that "sound-first" approaches aren't always the answer, we can open doors to alternative tools and strategies that unlock the potential of every learner, regardless of their processing style.

We hope this blog post has shed some light on the diverse world of language learning and the importance of catering to individual needs. Remember, at Handcues, we value inclusivity and believe that every voice deserves to be heard. We encourage you to continue exploring and embracing the wonderful variety of ways people learn and communicate.

For new parents, witnessing your baby's first communication can be exhilarating. You can help your little one blossom into a confident communicator by incorporating hand cues.

Handcues are powerful tools for supporting your baby's early speech development. Simple handcues can be incorporated as playful interactions. It is a bit like using a hand gestures when speaking to add meaning and emphasis. Cuetime hand cues provide a natural, visual bridge between spoken language and physical movement, helping babies develop fine motor skills needed for making the sounds sounds and mimic their articulation. Babies learn a lot by watching the faces of their caregivers.

Think of hand cues as tiny flashcards for your baby's brain. Each cue represents a specific sound or word, and by incorporating them into interactions a few times per day, you're creating a multi-sensory learning experience that strengthens neural pathways and lays the foundation for clear and confident speech.

Here's how Cuetime hand cues may benefit your baby:

  • Enhancesound perception: The visual cues provided by hand gestures help babies differentiate between similar sounds, like "b" and "p," making it easier for them to learn and master pronunciation.
  • Building vocabulary: Pairing hand cues with spoken words helps babies associate sounds with meaning, supporting their vocabulary acquisition.
  • Promoting motor skills: Coordinating hand movements with speech strengthens fine motor skills, which are crucial for speech clarity and other skills like writing.
  • Boosting engagement: The playful nature of hand cues makes learning fun and interactive, keeping babies motivated and engaged during communication activities.
  • Bonus benefit: If you practise handcues with your baby, your own articulation will also improve.

Ready to get started? Here are some key Cuetime hand cues to incorporate into your daily routine:

  • Mommy: Emphasise the first M and point with index finger to your lips.
  • Daddy: Emphasise the first D and show a cue that looks like you are holding something between your thumb and index finger (see cards)
  • Sleep: Emphasise the S and hold index finger to the side of your mouth.

Remember, consistency is key. Use hand cues a few times every day, and your baby will associate them with specific sounds. Incorporate hand cues for sounds into songs, narrate a story and add a few cues here and there. Enjoy playful activities like peek-a-boo, all while incorporating the hand cues to get some giggles.

Beyond the specific cues, here are some additional tips for using hand cues effectively:

  • Start early: Introduce hand cues as early as 4-6 months, when babies are starting to become more aware of their surroundings.
  • Keep it simple: Begin with a few basic cues and gradually add more as your baby progresses.
  • Be clear and consistent: Use the same hand cue every time you say a particular sound or a word starting with the sound.
  • Make it fun: Incorporate hand cues into playtime, singing, and other enjoyable activities.
  • Be patient: Every baby learns at their own pace. Celebrate your baby's progress, no matter how small.

By using Cuetime hand cues, you're not just helping your baby learn to speak; you're building a strong foundation for communication, confidence, fine motor skills and lifelong learning. So, embrace the power of these tiny gestures, and watch your little one blossom into a confident and expressive communicator, one hand cue at a time!

Refine your stage presence with increased vocal freedom!

For performers, the voice is an instrument. Words are notes, inflections are melodies, and emotions become the rhythm that connects us to our audience. The more we tune our instrument, the better do the syllables, clear articulation, and strong vocal control create connection, enabling you to fully captivate your audience.

Handcues is not just as a speech therapy tool, but as enhances performance for singers, actors, comedians, public speakers, and anyone who relies on their vocal prowess. With very simple and quick daily practise, Handcues unlock a new level of articulation mastery, pushing your voice beyond learned scripts to a realm of more refined expression and stage presence.


  • Nailed pronunciations:No more stumbling over tongue twisters or losing clarity in foreign languages. Handcues hones your precision, ensuring every word rings true and resonates with your audience.
  • Confident projection:Whether belting out a ballad or delivering a heartfelt speech, Handcues strengthens your vocal control. Project your voice with purpose, filling the room with your unwavering confidence.
  • Emotional depth:Words are just paint; articulation is the brush that brings them to life. Handcues helps you master voice control to exercise subtle intonations and inflections, adding layers of emotion to your performance that leave audiences spellbound.
  • Breakthrough stage fright:Nervousness can tighten your throat and cloud your focus. Handcues empowers you with vocal control and self-assurance that lets you step confidently into the

But the benefits of Handcues go beyond the confines of scripts and scores. The skills you cultivate – precision, control, and expressiveness – become portable assets that enhance your communication in all aspects of life. Imagine:

  • Deliver impactful presentations:Captivate your colleagues with clear, articulate talks that are easy to follow, provide clarity and leave a lasting impression.
  • Deepen conversations:Connect with family and friends on a deeper level, expressing your thoughts and emotions with newfound clarity and nuance.
  • Embracenew languages: Conquer pronunciation challenges and confidently learn English as a foreign language, expanding your horizons and enriching your connections.

Handcues is a journey of vocal self-discovery, a tool that unlocks the full potential of your voice. It's not just about mastering individual sounds; it's about developing your personal instrument, fine-tuning its every note, and expressing yourself with a level of clarity and power that takes your audience on an emotional ride.

So, performers, actors, singers, and all who rely on the magic of your voice, embrace the opportunity to refine your instrument. Take your confidence, your presence, and your performance to the next level with Handcues.

Because on stage, or in life, a voice that speaks clearly and resonates deeply is a force to be reckoned with. Let Handcues empower you to unleash your vocal magic and command the spotlight. Own the stage.

Your voice, and every voice in the Handcues community matters! In striving to learn and improve, your feedback is very valuable and also to share with others any successes that you achieved on your journey to clearer communication. There is no better guide than you, our amazing users!

That's why we're inviting you to share your valuable feedback about your Handcues experience! Your insights are instrumental in helping us refine what we do, address your needs, and ultimately, make the tool better able to make a real difference in your lives.

Whether you're a seasoned Handcues veteran or just starting out, your story matters. We want to hear:

  • Your successes: Share the moments when Handcues helped you conquer a challenging sound, master a word, or express yourself with newfound confidence.
  • Your struggles: Tell us what aspects of Hancues could be improved, any features you wished existed, or challenges you face while using Handcues.
  • Your suggestions: Let your creativity shine! Share innovative ideas for new features, exercises, or ways to make Handcues even more engaging and beneficial.
  • Your overall experience: We want to understand how Handcues has impacted your life. Has it boosted your confidence, improved your communication skills, or opened doors you never thought possible?

To share your feedback, you can email it to benjine@graphicouture.com.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Your honest feedback, both positive and constructive, is crucial in shaping the future of Handcues. By sharing your experiences, you're not just helping us, you're helping everyone in the Handcues community who wants to unlock their full communication potential.

So, don't hesitate to raise your voice! Your story matters, and it can make a world of difference. Together, let's refine Handcues to truly reflect the needs and aspirations of our users, empowering everyone to find their voice and communicate with confidence.

We eagerly await your insights! Thank you for being part of the Handcues journey.

We all deserve the ability to express ourselves confidently, at a deeper level beyond speech therapy and using any work-around that might be needed.  A clear, confident voice that lets us sing our stories, whisper our dreams, and shout our joys with unwavering self-belief. But for many, this simple gift remains out of reach due to unclear articulation, elusive fluency or a very heavy accent.

It can be frustrating when words that are meant to be bridges, become obstacles.  When stumbling over syllables, when others do not comprehend - this can cause confidence to melt away, emotions can become dysregulated. A sense of isolation from connection can leaving us vulnerable to emotional turmoil.

This is where Handcues steps in, not just as a speech therapy tool, but as a tool for enhancing self-expression and emotional regulation. Through engaging exercises and personalized practice, Handcues empowers you to improve articulation and fluency and build bridges of communication.

The journey with Handcues is more than just improving sound articulation - it's a transformational experience. As you practice, you:

  • Unlock a sense of agency:Each conquered sound, each mastered word, becomes a victory, building your confidence brick by emotional brick. You become the architect of your own fluency, wielding the tools of Handcues with newfound self-efficacy.
  • Embrace self-expression:With practice comes the freedom to express yourself authentically. No longer do you have to censor your thoughts or suppress your emotions for fear of misunderstanding. Handcues empowers you to let your voice soar, unburdened and true.
  • Find joy in the rhythm:As you move through the exercises, you tap into the playful rhythm of language. The tongue twisters and silly sounds helps you to see the lighter side – they all become opportunities to experience the joy of learning and the beauty of communication.
  • Connect with a community:Handcues isn't just a tool, it is a community of individuals united by the desire for clear expression - working by themselves or in groups. Share your struggles, and celebrate your triumphs, and supporting each other's journeys creates a safe space for vulnerability and growth.

The benefits of mastering clear communication reach far beyond the realm of words. Studies have shown that improved pronunciation leads to:

  • Reduced anxiety and stress:Struggling to express yourself can be an emotional drain. With Handcues, you learn to navigate conversations with more confidence, alleviating some of the anxieties associated with unclear speech.
  • Enhanced self-esteem:As you overcome challenges and discover the abilities and limitations of your voice, your self-image transforms. You begin to see yourself as a capable communicator, you find workarounds where needed, you advocate for yourself and you feel worthy of being heard and understood.
  • Improved social interactions:Clear communication fosters deeper connections with others. You can build stronger relationships, navigate social situations with ease, and finally be your authentic self without reservation.

Remember, we all deserve to be confident and find ways to make the most of our voices and abilities to communicate, even if it is not always verbal communication. So, take a deep breath, say "hello" to more confidence, and start your journey towards efficient communication and emotional well-being with Handcues and other communication tools.

Together, let's bridge the gap to self-expression, one empowered syllable at a time. We all have a right to be heard, and Handcues is here to help you unleash it. Confidence and emotional well-being are achievable regardless of speech limitations - by focusing on the journey of self-discovery and empowering oneself within one's communication abilities.

Ready to unlock your confident voice? Visit Handcues today and start your journey towards clear communication and emotional well-being.

Learning a new language is like composing a beautiful symphony. You master the intricate notes, learn the rhythm, and practice with dedication. When you tune your instrument, your audience can enjoy and appreciate the melody more.

Pronunciation is how you sound out letters (arphabet), syllables and words. One's pronunciation skills can be 'graded'. Articulation refers to pronunciation that leads to clarity and comprehensibility of speech.

This is precisely why mastering pronunciation is the secret sauce to fluency in English as a foreign language (EFL). It's not just about understanding grammar and vocabulary; it's about giving your words the articulation and pitch so they resonate with native speakers.

Here's why getting the articulation of sounds right is your ticket to English mastery:

  1. Clarity is King: Imagine ordering a "bean" instead of "beef" at a restaurant. Mispronouncing just one sound can lead to hilarious (or embarrassing) situations. Accurate pronunciation ensures your message is crystal clear, avoiding confusion and frustration.
  2. Confidence is Contagious: When you speak with clear articulation, you radiate confidence. Your fluency inspires others to listen intently and engage in deeper conversations. This confidence boost fuels your learning journey, making you eager to explore and express yourself.
  3. Comprehension is Key: Not only do you want others to understand you, but you also want to fully comprehend what they're saying. Mastering pronunciation allows you to decipher native speech accents and slang, opening doors to richer conversations and cultural understanding.
  4. Listening Becomes Learning: When you can identify and isolate individual sounds, you become a more active listener. You start to notice the nuances of pronunciation, which fuels your own practice and helps you refine your accent.
  5. Fluency Takes Flight: Once you conquer those tricky sounds, the words begin to flow effortlessly. You string sentences together with confidence, express yourself with ease, and finally feel the rhythm of the language in your tongue.

But mastering pronunciation isn't just about rote memorization. It's about understanding the mechanics of speech, the placement of your tongue, lips, and teeth. It's about mimicking the melody, listening closely to native speakers and practicing with dedication.

Luckily, you have some practise resources at our disposal:

  • Interactive tools: CueTime offer an audio-visual practise framework that helps you stick to a quick and easy daily practise session to help you master pronunciation with accuracy.
  • Tongue twisters: Sound drills and playful challenges can help you train your tongue muscles and improve agility.
  • Speech shadowing: Practice mimicking audio recordings of native speakers, paying close attention to sound formation.
  • Conversation practice: Find native speakers to chat with, get feedback on your pronunciation, and learn from their natural flow.

Remember, the journey of improving articulation is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient, celebrate your progress, and most importantly, have fun! Enjoy the music of language, embrace the melody of English, and watch your fluency soar to new heights.

So, dear EFL learners, pick up your instruments, tune your tongues, and prepare to compose the symphony of your fluent English. Remember, with dedication and the right tools, you can write your own masterpiece, one perfectly articulated word at a time.

I hope this blog post inspires you to embrace the power of pronunciation in your EFL journey! Let's make the world a multilingual melody, where everyone can express themselves with clarity and confidence!

Do you ever stumble over certain sounds in words, or wish you could express yourself with more clarity? Well, the secret to unlocking your articulation potential could lie in the fascinating realm of phonetics.

Now, don't be intimidated. Phonetics is simply the study of how sounds are produced and perceived in speech. And trust me, understanding these basic building blocks of language can be immensely powerful in improving your articulation skills.

Imagine learning a musical instrument. Would you just randomly press keys without understanding the fundamentals of notes and scales? Similarly, mastering the art of clear pronunciation requires some grasp of the "notes" that make up spoken language – phonetic sounds.

These sounds, known as phonemes, are the smallest units of speech that distinguish one word from another. In English, we have 45 of these, from the familiar “ah” in "cat" to the tricky “th” in "think." By mastering the formation and placement of these sounds, you unlock a whole new level of control over your articulation.

But why is this so important? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Accuracy:Phonetic awareness helps you pinpoint precisely where you might be mispronouncing a sound, allowing you to target your practice and achieve greater accuracy.
  • Fluency:By mastering individual sounds, you can string them together more smoothly, leading to smoother, more confident speech.
  • Comprehension:When you hear and pronounce sounds correctly, you understand others better and are understood more clearly yourself.
  • Confidence:A firm grasp of pronunciation fosters confidence and empowers you to communicate effectively in any situation.

So, how can you harness the power of phonetics to improve your articulation? Here are some tips:

  • Explore online resources:Many websites and apps offer interactive tools for learning and practicing phonemes. CueTime is a tool for practising phonetic sounds in a quick daily session.
  • Shadow reading:Read along with audio recordings, mimicking the speaker's pronunciation of each sound.
  • Record and analyze:Record yourself speaking and listen back to identify areas for improvement.
  • Seek professional guidance:Speech therapists can provide personalized assessment and practice strategies.

Remember, mastering phonetics is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the learning process, have fun, and celebrate your progress along the way. With a little dedication and the right tools, you can unlock the secrets of clear communication and confidently express your unique voice.

We all deserve a voice, clear and confident. Yet, for many, access to the valuable service of speech therapy remains a distant dream. Costly weekly sessions can feel like a mountain to climb, especially for families struggling to meet basic needs.

There is a great need for Free Speech Therapy Resources and HandCues.com is part of the solution. Let's work together to unlock unlock even more free, effective speech therapy, for those who can barely afford a meal.

Free speech therapy resources can supplement traditional therapy, and even accelerate progress without adding financial strain. Imagine a world where individuals can practice critical articulation skills, build vocabulary, and boost communication confidence - all at no cost.

Let's face it, traditional speech therapy is expensive. A single session can cost over R1000, putting it out of reach for many families already grappling with the realities of food insecurity. For those barely managing R30 a day, the thought of such a price tag is simply untenable. This financial barrier isolates these individuals and leaves them vulnerable to the challenges of unaddressed speech difficulties.

Let's envision free speech therapy resources designed by qualified speech therapists and tailored to various speech concerns. These resources can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device – turning homes and public libraries into mini-therapy centers.

The benefits are multifaceted:

  • Affordability: Free resources eliminate the financial barrier, opening doors to families who previously had no access to speech therapy.
  • Accessibility:Online platforms break down geographical limitations, reaching individuals in remote areas or those with limited mobility.
  • Supplemental practice: Regular use of these resources strengthens skills learned in traditional sessions, leading to faster progress and greater confidence.
  • Empowerment: Individuals gain agency over their own progress, learning at their own pace and can reinforce skills independently and indefinitely.

Of course, free resources cannot replace the personalized guidance of a qualified therapist. However, they can play a crucial role in supplementing traditional therapy, making it more impactful and accessible.

Remember, even small steps can lead to giant leaps. Every word articulated with clarity, every sentence spoken with confidence, is a victory. Let's embrace the power of free speech therapy resources and work towards a world where everyone has the opportunity to unlock their full voice – regardless of their financial circumstances.

Together, we can make a difference. Let's turn the dream of affordable, accessible speech therapy into a reality, one voice at a time.

Practise with CueTime every day and share your experiences, or you can even contribute to expanding free speech therapy options!

Take articulation skills to the next level with Handcues. We can all improve articulation control through daily practise. With its multi-sensory approach, Handcues provides a framework for quickly practising all the phonetic sounds every day.

Refine your sound articulation skills and build confidence with Handcues' daily, multi-sensory approach.

Let's see how it works: 

  • Visual Cues: Each Handcue card features illustrations of a mouth shape, tongue position, and hand gesture for each sound. This visual framework makes remembering and replicating the sound and Handcue easy.
  • Audio Reinforcement: The phonetic sound is pronounced correctly in the high-quality audio recordings, which is played when you click on the card. After hearing the sound, you can try to repeat the sound exactly as you have heard it.
  • Kinesthetic Engagement: Show the hand gesture and say the sound together. This physical repetition strengthens neural connections - solidifying learning and developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. These skills benefit not only speech but also overall cognitive development.

Daily practice with Handcues in short, focused sessions are ideal for long-term learning. Turn practice into a game or do it together with friends and family. Positive emotions boost motivation and make learning enjoyable.

  • Realistic Expectations: While Handcues offers a powerful learning tool, individual progress can vary. Some may see significant improvement, while others may face limitations due to underlying conditions.
  • Focus on the Journey: Embrace the daily practice as a fun and rewarding routine, not just a quest for a specific outcome. Celebrate small victories and enjoy the process of learning.
  • Accessible for all: Handcues is designed for diverse needs and learning styles. Take your time, follow your own pace, and customize your practice as needed.

Ready to give it a try?

Explore Handcues today and unlock the benefits of multi-sensory sound learning. Whether you're looking to improve clarity for daily interactions or build a stronger foundation for language development, Handcues is your daily guide to a clearer, more confident voice.

Remember: Consistency is key. Take a few minutes each day, see it, hear it, repeat it, and experience the joy of progress with Handcues.