Photograph courtesy of Christian Bowen
Any Spanish speaker who is learning English will know that it can be difficult to learn the vowel sounds in English, because there are so many different sounds. In fact, the English language has about forty-two different sounds, including fourteen vowel sounds, and Spanish has only five different vowel sounds. So it’s no wonder that it takes time to hear the differences in and learn to pronounce all the new sounds.
One great way to practice is to learn tongue twisters – they are fun, challenging to the brain, and can show you which sounds you have a hard time pronouncing.
How should you practice tongue twisters to improve your English? 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 recording below and practice saying this tongue twister to help learn the pronunciation of English vowel sounds.
Betty Botter bought some butter,
“But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter –
That would make my batter better.”
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
And she baked it in her batter,
And the batter was not bitter.
So ’twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.