eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 6th, 2006, 09:28 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Apr 3rd, 2006
Posts: 1
mizmiranda is on a distinguished road
Default Teaching the l and r sound

Hi! I am teaching in Japan and I want to get across some pronunciation points in class, specifically the different sounds l and r make. I knew that this would be a struggle, and most of the kids can't even hear the difference between the two sounds. Because the "r" sound is formed within the mouth, it it very difficult to show them how to form the r. I wish I had a good diagram of the inside of the mouth making the "r" sound, but I haven't been able to find any good teaching tools on this point. Any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 7th, 2006, 12:40 pm
eslHQ Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 26th, 2006
Location: Athens, Greece
Posts: 47
Manuela is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

I used to have a diagram made of cardboard on which I had drawn a section through the head, one could see the teeth, the part where the interior of the mouth should have been , I had cut out so that by wearing a red sock on the hand you could show the students exactly where to place the tip of their tongue. I hope my explanation is intelligible.
However lately I have found that it is easier if I just ask students to probe with the tip of their tongues inside their mouth and feel that if they go backwards from the upper teeth they will find that the "ceiling" of the mouth goes upwards abruptly, forming something like a cave inside the mouth. After they have acknowledged that it is easy to teach them the difference between Ts and tch for example. The first is pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the upper teeth the latter with the tip of the tongue in the "cave"
I think that "r" and "l" follow the same ruling, "r" is pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the teeth, "l " with the tip of the tongue in the cave. Now that I'm trying it out I start having doubts about the use of this for these two sounds but anyway I'm gonna post it.You may find some use in it.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 8th, 2006, 07:11 am
eslHQ superstar!
 
Join Date: Mar 27th, 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 1,696
mesmark is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

I generally just tell the students for "l" we touch the top of your mouths with the tongue and the sound comes out of the mouth.

For, "r" don't touch the top of your mouth at all with the toungue and the sound should stay in the throat. It sounds like a growling dog. Ss should be able to feel their throat vibrating.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 11th, 2006, 03:53 am
emile's Avatar
Sifu
 
Join Date: Mar 21st, 2006
Posts: 337
emile is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

Ask the students to draw where they think the position of the tongue and the teeth should be. That way you can pinpoint where they're going wrong.

The 'r' sound does not involve the tongue touching the teeth, and both sounds involve some sort of vibration in the throat.

I generally use this strategy with any sound:

1 teach them how to make the sound by itself
2 practise the sound in various words
3 distinguish the sound from others using minimal pairs
4 use the sound in drill sentences
5 use the sound in natural conversation

Each part takes time, but the fifth step is obviously the hardest as it involves changing ingrained habits.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 29th, 2006, 09:26 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Sep 29th, 2006
Posts: 1
csvose is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

Try teaching the ah sound. Then as your students get better tell them to add the rrr. Such as ahhrrrrrr. Also, I found that in saying the letter r the tongue curls up at the tip but generally doesn't touch the top of the mouth like it would for d or t sounds. It's important for the student to understand that in making the r sound the tongue makes a rolling motion forward and then back in the mouth. Hope those ideas help.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 8th, 2006, 11:56 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Oct 27th, 2006
Posts: 16
kpan217 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

Just to add a few points, the reason that Japanese students can't hear the difference is because to them there is no difference. All the folks in Japan probably know this very well by now, but I just wanted to offer the actual linguistic terminology for it. For them, r and l are allophones, meaning that no matter which sound you choose to use, they would always be perceived as the same sound. People have conducted really fascinating tests with these sounds, and I wish I could direct you to those results.

If anyone's still in search of a diagram, the thing to look up is the vocal tract or vocal tract diagram. There's actually an interactive one here: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~danhal...ics/sammy.html

l's and r's are hard to describe because they're consonants that are very nearly vowels. If you think it would help, the way we describe [l] is as a lateral glide. That means, if you take a breath with your tongue in the [l] position, you should feel air all along both sides of it. [r] is a retroflex, meaning that the tongue is slightly curled backwards or around the sides, and if you breathe in, you'll feel air over the tip of the tongue as well (because it's not exactly touching the roof of your mouth).

I'm thinking the most perfect Japanese r/l sound is somewhere between the two that we know, so taking the sounds to extremes and exaggerating (onomotapoeia is a good call, with the "growling" idea for [r]) might be a good place to start. Or just "eeeeeeeeeeeerrrr" vs. "eeeellllllll", "are" "all" and other single syllable minimal pairs will also get them started with hearing the difference. Someone posted about the minimal pairs elsewhere, but it's really important to just write the sounds where they can see it, make them, and them have them select the correct ones as you go.

Ok, that may or may not have been helpful, but I just wanted to throw it out there!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 8th, 2006, 06:30 pm
livinginkorea's Avatar
Ninja Fighting Teacher
 
Join Date: Jan 16th, 2006
Location: South Korea
Age: 33
Posts: 378
livinginkorea is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

In Korea it's the same. They can't distinguish between l and r because they have a letter than is in between both of them called rial (like the digit 2) which is so similar but the tongue is placed in the middle of the mouth.

To explain this to the students I often draw then a simple picture and write l, r and rial under it and use some arrows to show that when you say l your tongue is up, when you say r your tongue is down and when you say rial it's in the middle of your mouth.

It's such a common mistake here. Similar mistakes can be v, p and b which again is all similar sounding to them. Always remember no matter what the sound is you have to express it more than usual so that the students can understand it more.

Hope that this helps
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 8th, 2007, 08:56 pm
BJH BJH is offline
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Aug 8th, 2007
Posts: 1
BJH is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

I read with interest that someone said that 'r' does not involve the tongue touching teeth at all - not quite correct. I have been teaching English and English phonetics for many years both in Japan and Australia, and I have found some misunderstandings about 'r' and 'l' pronunciation, especially as instructed to Japanese.
The English 'l' is the same as the Japanese 'r' as both involve the tongue touching the roof of the mouth. English 'r' as a standalone sound does not involve the tongue touching the teeth, HOWEVER when the 'r' is at the front of a word as in 'red' then the the tongue touches either the top left or top right rear molar tooth. The pressure must be slight or else the sound will distort. 'R' in the centre of a word is the same, especially if it is at the start of a syllable. At the end of a word it is the same as in the standalone situation.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 12th, 2007, 07:21 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Mar 12th, 2007
Posts: 1
bruna_sb is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

Hello!
I had to post a comment here, cause I've found a great website for checking our pronunciation, it's the best I've seen so far:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/#
Just choose 'American English', then you click in consonants: manner/ Liquid. There you'll see r and l distinguished in a video and graphic, with examples and everything you need really.. it's an awesome site. Have fun!
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 12th, 2007, 11:18 pm
Eric's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 10th, 2004
Location: Montreal
Age: 39
Posts: 1,229
Eric is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

Quote:
Quote bruna_sb View Post
Hello!
I had to post a comment here, cause I've found a great website for checking our pronunciation, it's the best I've seen so far:
http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/#
Just choose 'American English', then you click in consonants: manner/ Liquid. There you'll see r and l distinguished in a video and graphic, with examples and everything you need really.. it's an awesome site. Have fun!
Wow! that is a cool website. Thanks for sharing. Not only does it help students but it can also help teachers learn what to teach and what to look for when their students are practicing.
__________________
ESL Flashcards - Free downloadable flashcards
TEFL Course Review - Find the best TEFL Course
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 14th, 2007, 12:49 am
Eric18's Avatar
Compelling Conversations
 
Join Date: May 24th, 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 165
Eric18 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

Thank you for all this practical advice. I've struggled with this question for years, and feel like I've just attended a quality workshop.
__________________
Shalom

Eric
eric@compellingconversations.com
www.compellingconversations.com

"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity."
Aristotle, 4th Century BCE, Greek philosopher
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Jun 16th, 2011, 05:19 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Jun 16th, 2011
Posts: 1
ELT_IN_JAPAN is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Teaching the l and r sound

The problem with recourse to specific phonetic descriptions is that both English /r/ and /l/ have a lot of 'positional variants', variations depending upon what word they appear in, where they are in a spoken syllable, etc. Also students typically do not transfer static one-dimensional diagrams into the 3-D dynamic movements required to produce speech.

I advocate a systematic approach that requires no technical terminology, no phonetics on the part of the teacher or the students. It does take time and so you need to work at the two sounds over a set of classes.

See:

ELT in Japan (ELT-J): Teaching English /r/ and /l/ to EFL learners: a lexical approach (parts 1-3 final)

Charles Jannuzi
Fukui, Japan
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
Teaching ESL to children in Japan is easy with the right tools! 3
Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia 14
Textbooks for teaching flight attendants 5
Life after English teaching... 3
More Resources

KIZ Phonics

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
Teaching ESL to children in Japan is easy with the right tools! 3
Qualification Requirements to Teach English in Asia 14
Textbooks for teaching flight attendants 5
Life after English teaching... 3

Advertise on eslHQ

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:44 pm.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2