Playful Practice: /l/ in consonant groups

I’ve often observed how significant improvement occurs in the pronunciation of upper level students as soon as they slow down their speech and stop equating advanced proficiency with breakneck speed. Students I’ve worked with one-on-one usually require only a brief review of the mechanics involved for problematic sounds followed by lots of practice at slower pace than what they normally speak at. They discover that they are fully capable of producing sounds clearly when they give their articulators enough time to move into the correct positions.

I’ve been working with one student on clearly pronouncing /l/ in consonant groups.  /l/ as a single consonant sound doesn’t pose much trouble for this learner. It’s only when this sound is preceded or followed by another consonant that I have trouble perceiving it in the student’s words. With this particular challenge in mind, I created the Playful Practice_handout. It’s designed for a group, but if used in the context of a private lesson, the final activity can simply become a matching activity on paper. The teacher can read the questions, and the student can supply the correct responses.



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nina Liakos says:

    Thank you for this nice little exercise, Jennifer! I will use it in today’s pronunciation class.

    The most challenging pronunciation problem I have ever dealt with is the inability of Chinese from the southern part of the country (e.g., Guangzhou, Hubei) to distinguish between /l/ and /n/. These students say things like “Lo, I don’t” and “What is your phone lumber?” I can show them how to tell when they are nasalizing (touch finger to nose) but have been unable to teach them how to stop nasalizing. Have you had any success with this?

    1. Hm, Nina. I haven’t faced that challenge enough to recognize it as a common one. I think you gave me a topic for my next post, though. 🙂 Maybe I can offer practice with the nasal consonants.

      When working with Chinese speakers, I’ve mostly had to focus on their production of /l/ – either isolated or in consonant groups. The common confusion is with /l/ and /r/.

      Hope the exercises and activity go well. I’ll be doing the final activity with a private student this coming weekend. I’ve already shuffled the responses on my chart, so when I ask a question, he’ll have to find and read the correct response.

  2. Edson Soares says:

    Thanks a lot!
    I love your blog, an excellent work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s