If you’re looking to perfect your R sound in speech therapy, you’ve come to the right place! The R sound is one of the most difficult sounds to pronounce, but with practice and drill your client can get there. Here are some helpful tips to get you started in the form of a video series that I developed:
How to Get the R Sound from Nothing
I’m excited to share what worked for me. In particular I’m referring to my son who did not have an R sound in first grade. Knowing what I know about R, I knew that it was important to start early because it is the hardest sound in English (at least that’s what I think). The first step is starting with teaching the ER sound. I could write more about what to do, but I walk you through it in the above video: How to Get the R Sound from Nothing Speech Therapy Help
Where to Go After ER
You have gotten your client to successfully produce the ER sound after drill and practice. Now what? It’s time to shape that ER sound into other vocalic R sounds like OR, AR, AIR, EAR, IRE. Vocalic R sounds are the sounds where R is attached behind the vowel. They are also called R-colored vowels. The vowel takes on an R quality. The vocalic R sounds appear in word final or in medial position in words.
Once you have the ER sound, you can then shape all of the rest of the vocalic R sounds from ER. The video shows you how I do it. Watch it here: Where to Go After ER
Successful R Sound in Initial Position Shaping Vocalic R
Switching gears, what about those clients that had a successful initial R in words (like ‘Race,’ ‘Right,’ etc), but they cannot produce vocalic R sounds. In this video, I tell you how to successfully shape vocalic R sounds from a successful R in initial position. Shaping Vocalic R from Initial R
How to Pronounce and Produce the R
Speech therapy helps the production of this difficult sound. It can often be a challenge, but with some practice, patience and perseverance, you’ll get there. If you are not a video watcher, here are some tips written out for you.
1. Firstly, keep your lips stretched out as if you are smiling. You do not want to have rounded lips because it lends to the W sound of R.
2. Consider the two ways to produce R and choose one: The retroflexed R or the bunched R.
3. Your tongue should be positioned with the sides anchored to the sides of the back of the teeth. For the retroflexed R, the tongue tip curls up and turns backwards. For the bunched R, the tip stays down while the back of tongue moves back (almost “bunching”).
4. Try saying words like “read” and “ride” aloud and really focus on emphasizing the ‘R’ sound. Do not practice words like “rude” or “road” because those vowels (O and U) require lip-rounding, which will make the R sound appear more like a W sound to the people you talk to.
Consistently practicing will soon have you producing that R sound in no time!