第59話:Learning English Series: Pronunciation Practice with Tongue Twisters Part 1 / 早口言葉で発音トレーニング:その1

Learning English Series: Pronunciation Practice with Tongue Twisters Part 1 

Learning a language involves a lot of skills and one of them is being able to say words in their correct pronunciation. 

It is very essential to master pronunciation not only for the purpose of sounding good but also to aid you in being more comprehensible. 
Tongue twisters could also be likened to physical exercise. The more you practice, the better you would sound. Although they don’t mostly have meaning, they have a lot of words and sounds that help in speech therapy. 

In this blog post series, I want to share with you some tongue twisters and pronunciation practice resources that might help you work on your pronunciation, focusing on some critical sounds of English. I challenge you to give these a try and see how you’d do! 

Image taken from: https://unsplash.com/photos/N_V13fMHtiE


Exercise for the sounds /l/ and /r/

These sounds have got to be the most confusing and difficult sounds to produce for most Japanese learners who are studying English. 
Because these two are interchangeable in the Japanese language, it is takes a lot more effort for learners to produce these two sounds with distinction. Here are some steps to get you producing these sounds well in no time. 


Step 1: Know Your Speech Articulators
If you’re having a hard time with producing the either of the two sounds, you can start by referring to the image below. 
Knowing the correct positioning of the tongue helps with the proper production of these sounds.

Image taken from: http://genki-saga.com/?p=3028


L: 舌の先端が上歯の後ろの歯茎についた状態で発音する
R: 舌を上顎につけずに口の中に引くように発音する

Step 2: Work Your Way the Pairs
Practicing pair words also help a lot in familiarizing with words that have these two pair sounds. This resource website has a list of words divided into different categories ranging from elementary to advanced levels.  


Step 3: Don’t Get Tongue-tied with Tongue Twisters!
This is now the part where it gets more challenging. Since tongue twisters mostly come in phrases or sentences and they’re often spoken quickly, making mistakes with pronunciation is more inevitable. No need to worry though for you have all the chances and time to practice by starting slow. You can pick up the pace whenever you are more comfortable or when you’ve finally mastered the correct pronunciation of the words.

This website provides a list of short tongue twisters that help a lot with pronouncing difficult sounds like /l/ and /r/. The speaker also pronounces the words very clearly and slowly.



Next week I will be back with more pronunciation exercises and tongue twisters for other critical sounds of English. I hope you found these helpful and interesting! Good luck and have fun!     


-      Teacher Marilou

1.   comprehensible (adjective) (形容詞)- capable of being comprehended or understood; 理解できる
2.     liken (verb) (動詞)- consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous; 例える なぞらえる
3.     interchangeable (noun)(名詞)- exchangeable;  置き換えできる
4.     take effort (phrasal verb) (句動詞)- to work hard on something;努力をする
5.     distinction (noun) (名詞)- differentiation; 区別
6.     familiarize (verb)(動詞)- make familiar with; 習熟させる
7.     inevitable (adjective) (形容詞)- incapable of being avoided or prevented; 必然的な
8.     pick up the pace (expression) (語句)- to go faster; ペースをあげていく

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