I have had a few readers recently write inquiring how to teach the R sound. This sound is among the toughest sounds to teach. It is unlike other sounds, meaning it is produced differently leading or following different vowels and consonants. The truth is when you talk about teaching the R sound you are actually talking about eight different variations of R that appear in initial (beginning), medial (middle) and final word positions comprising 21 different types of R. Evaluating, eliciting and training all these different variations of R can be a daunting task even for a Speech-Language Pathologist. Don’t be discouraged however, I have recently learned about a program called, The Entire World of R by Say it Right that breaks down R at every level. The Entire World of R teaches you how to assess which R errors are occurring, how to train the correct production of the R in error and gives you materials to help you move that difficult R from the sound in isolation all the way into conversation. I was thrilled to learn about this program and have just ordered a copy of The Entire World of R Book of Elicitation Techniques for myself. I will be doing a follow up post once I have had a chance to read the book myself and apply it to some of my clients. It is my hope that it will make teaching an R easier for me as well!
Say it Right has posted an article from Advanced Magazine that has the basics on evaluating and treating vocalic r and the 21 types of /r/ that is very well written and most informative. I learned so much!
Say it Right also has a blog that is dedicated to R problems exclusively. It may be helpful to visit that site and read some of the questions and answers that have been posted, or ask “Mrs. R” a question yourself.
I am so pleased to have Christine Ristuccia, the author and creator of The Entire World of R, share her introduction on teaching the R sound in a more recent post on this blog. You can read it here.