IELTS strategies: tongue-twisters
Are there any particular sounds in the English language that you have difficulties pronouncing?
The difficult ones are usually those that don’t exist in your first language, so you never got used to using them when you were learning to speak.
For example, my first language is English, but I live in Spain and Spanish uses a sound spelled with ‘J’ that is called ‘Jota’. It is similar to the English ‘h’ but it is a much deeper sound that is produced from the back of the throat, almost like the start of a cough!
It was an alien sound to me and I had difficulty using it for a long time, but with practice it gradually became more familiar and I could pronounce words containing the ‘jota’ sound more naturally.
One way to practise difficult sounds is to repeat them in a fun non-sensical way by inventing a tongue-twister using lots of words with the same sound.
For example, if you have problems with the ‘r’ sound, make a list of words that contain that sound (either at the beginning or in the middle):
RABBIT - RACE - RUN - RIBBON - ROAD - RICH - BURROW - RED - BROWN - REALLY
And then try to put them in a silly sentence:
The really rich rabbit running with the red ribbon was racing down the road to reach his brown burrow
Now try saying it…...each time a little faster than the last. Ready .....steady….....go!!
Watch our video again for another example: