Improve English Pronunciation with Tongue Twisters, Part 2

Shana Goodwin, May 17, 2021

Photograph courtesy of Stormy All

In this post, I wrote about how tongue twisters are a fun and effective way to improve English pronunciation. Non-native speakers often have a difficult time pronouncing certain sound combinations, such as “th” and “f” or “l” and “r.”

Don’t worry – native English speakers sometimes have a hard time with these sounds too! If you know which sounds tend to trip you up, you can practice, and eventually master them.

Along with tongue twisters, another way to practice specific sound combinations is by repeating minimal pairs such as play/pray, lead/read, glow/grow, and law/raw. Although you are practicing these sounds, try not to think too hard about them. Let your jaw relax and just talk.

Here’s a reminder on how to practice tongue twisters: Start by reading slowly, word by word. It can be helpful to stand in front of a mirror and watch your mouth form the words. Slowly increase your speed, still making sure to pronounce each word clearly, until you can say the tongue twister quickly without any mistakes.

Listen to the audio recordings below and practice saying these short tongue twisters to help improve your pronunciation of the English consonants “l” and “r.”

A lump of red lead,
A red lead lump.

I rarely like rolling down the hill.

Reading alone allows you to really relax.

Irene leaned across the railing and laughed really loudly.