If I had to pick one sound that I thought was the most difficult for most people who speak English as a second language to master, I would have to choose the American English "r" sound. I choose this sound as the most difficult sound to learn for a couple of reasons: 1) the American English "r" is formed very differently than in many other languages, and 2) it is probably the most frequently occurring sound in American English: it can be a consonant as in word "red", it can be a vowel as in the word "mother" and "bird" and it can occur in consonant blends (two or three consonants together) as in the words "price", "three", "try", scratch", etc. Let's spend a few minutes talking about how the American English "r" differs from many other languages and how to form it correctly. First of all, many languages such as Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Arabic, just to name a few, form the "r" by keeping the lips flat and quickly hitting the roof of the mouth with the tip of the tongue. This creates what we call "rolling" (when the tongue tip hits the roof of the mouth only once) and "trilling" (when the tip of the tongue hits the roof of the mouth more than once). Other languages, such as French and German form the "r" by using the back of their tongue against the back of their throat. Both ways of forming the "r" sound are very different from how we pronounce it in American English. To form the American English "r", follow these steps in this order:
Train to read these words correctly, spell them according to their transcription.
['læŋgwid3], ['kΛnsənənt], ['vauəl], [kΛpl], [sə:kl], [raund], [o'kə:], [prə'nauns], [tΛŋ], [saund].
Organs of Speech
Terms describing pronunciation and the way we hear sounds
Terms describing the positions of the organs of speech
3. Try to pronounce the sound 'r' as in a) Russian; b) French or German; c) American English. Re-read the text to make sure you understand the way it SHOULD be pronounced.
4. Look into the table (task 2) and describe the way we should pronounce: a) English 'v'; b) English 'w'; c) English 'i:'. Compare these to the corresponding Russian sounds. You may need to use the following references:
[i:] - дифтонгоид, переднеязычный, язык лежит плоско в полости рта, кончик касается передних нижних зубов, губы раздвинуты как будто в улыбке.
[w] – согласный, сонорный, губно-губной, губы округлены и выдвинуты вперёд, воздух проходит свободно, образуя звук на выходе.
[v] – согласный, звонкий, губно-зубной, верхние зубы касаются нижней губы, словно прикусывая её, воздух проходит через образовавшуюся щель свободно.
Чтобы распечатать файл, скачайте его (в формате Word).
Ссылка на скачивание - внизу страницы.