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Tips for /r/ Production

Christine Ristuccia, M.S.

May 8, 2006

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Question

I have a few students who are working on /r/ production that can make a nice /r/ by curling the tip of the tongue back. (I always teach the /r/ sound by having the student retract the tongue and have the sides of the tongue touch the upper inside molars.)

Answer

I have found that through using the Entire World of R Advanced Screening form which involves evaluation of the 21 types of /r/ + /r/ blends that I can find at least one type of /r/ and word position that the student is successful producing. This screening form is in the newly released Entire World of R Book of Elicitation techniques and is evidence based. After I have found the successful production, I ask the student how they are making the successful production naturally: curling the tongue tip up and back in a reversed C (retroflex) or retracting the tongue like a mountain (retracted). I use my hand to demonstrate the two ways to produce /r/. The student tells me the way that they do it and we use their own natural way. It's easy, it works and they don't have to change what they are doing. They I progress to using the screening form results to assist me in choosing my /r/ target.

Christine Ristuccia earned her Master of Science degree from the University of Redlands, Redlands, Ca and is a second-generation speech-language pathologist. After a short time of practicing in a school-based setting, she discovered that the assessment and remediation tools for /r/ were focused only on initial, medial and final word positions rather than on the twenty-one versions that she was hearing the children produce. Christine has recently concluded a research study involving 45 students which utilized her phonemic based approach to /r/.


christine ristuccia

Christine Ristuccia, M.S.


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