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Thread: HELP ME teaching "r" sound

  1. #1
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    Default HELP ME teaching "r" sound

    I'm tutoring a student for a speech contest, and her pronounciation is really good, until we get to an "r". Hell, she can even get those bastard "l"s down, but the "r", nothing doin.

    I've tried showing her diagrams, almost dislocating my jaw to show her what I do, anything, but her pronounciation just gets worse with everything I try.

    Anybody got suggestions on methods or websites to teach phonetics? (damn, wish I'd brought my notes from university)

  2. #2
    Pandilex
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    keep trying?

    beat her with a stick when she gets it wrong?

  3. #3
    az
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    next time we catch up i can show you some of my notes, and I got those manga for you too

  4. #4
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    this may sound strange but i have taught my speech students the difference between r and l using japanese....the らりるれろ sounds are kinda an r and l mix so i use the japanese haiku:
    とらじろ
    ふーてんのとらと
    よばれけり

    (it is just about an old japanese tv program)

    and i have them say it

    toRajiRo
    hu-tennotoRato
    yobaRekeRi

    toLajiLo
    hu-tennotoLato
    yobaLekeLi

    the always think it is really funny coz it sounds like a bad gaijin speaking japanese and it helps keep their attention and we go back and forth and fast and slow...

    well it kinda worked for me!
    mark!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member jacqui's Avatar
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    i just worked with minimal word pairs...

    use pictures describing the difference between "rice" and "lice", and ask her if she likes eating bowls of lice. :P

    did it with a bunch of other words too, and she eventually got the message.

    then we practiced doing L and R tongue twisters like red lorry yellow lorry to get her tongue around it.

    also try showing her the different tongue placements - draw a picture of where the tongue should be for each sound, and tell her to think about where she's puttnig her tongue for each sound.

    huzzah for a linguistics degree!

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I'm evil, I told her to practice saying "red lorry yellow lorry" for homework. She has to say it to me 5 times in a row today. My teachers can't even get 2.

    The thing is she knows the difference between "l" and "r", and her "l"s are perfect, it's just her "r"s that are screwy. They don't even sound like the Japanese mix, it's just.... odd. *sigh*

  7. #7
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    I made a post about this a while back - scroll down here to find it:

    http://www.ithinkimlost.com/modules....ewtopic&t=1593

  8. #8
    Senior Member jacqui's Avatar
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    maybe stop putting so much pressure on it?

    i taught mine the lesson then got over it. some people just can't say certain sounds.

    if you don't stress about it she may get better with practice, but if you put too much pressure on her it'll get waaaaay worse.

    as usual - just chill.

  9. #9
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    Cornelius - you're a genius. I just copy and pasted what you wrote into a word document, I'm so going to be trying that out.

    Last week I did a lesson on strees and intonation in your voice when speaking English, which varied from 'going over great' to 'what the hell is she going on about'. Perhaps this kind of lesson will help! A lot of my kids are doing speeches right now, or aware of that, so I would love to help pronunciation. Anything that ups their conversation skills.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacqui
    maybe stop putting so much pressure on it?
    I'd agree with this; I've seen a few speech contestant participants who really over-emphasise their intonation and sound everything out. Now, the sounds are correct but it sounds appallingly unnatural. I don't see why not being able to say 'r's properly is that big of a deal. I can't even do it myself due to a mild speech impediment!
    "If you've got [a penis], or access to one, take a good look at it this evening and ask yourself: how can this possibly be the work of a sane God?"

  11. #11
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    :?: Must be hard to teach them then aye Dob?
    Awww... you look like you need a hug! \(^^)/

  12. #12
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    err.... nevermind. I momentarily forgot just how awesome my student is. 15mins of working on it, and she's got it down perfect

    Sidenote: she can say "red lorry yellow lorry" 3 times in a row. My teachers can't even get 2.

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