Precious Practice: Learning to Say Consonant Blends with R

A private student called my attention to a tricky aspect of pronunciation. We were focusing on linking sounds from one word to another to produce connected speech, but then she asked about connecting two sounds within a word, namely the “tr” in truth. Slowing pronunciation down too much had its dangers. Truth could end up sounding like “to Ruth.” She also wanted to confirm which sounds were voiced. Ah! This was another pitfall. I wanted to be sure truth didn’t sound like “druth.” Voicing shouldn’t begin too soon. We practiced whispering the TR and then moving from R into the long U with a full voice.

If your intermediate or advanced learners need some practice with the voiceless consonants /p, t, k/ before R, then please consider my Precious Practice_handout. I hope it helps!

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