How tongue twisters help in learning English

Liked: 249 Time to read: 2 min

Tongue twisters are an effective tool for improving spoken English. The constant repetition of certain phrases allows for quicker adaptation to the language’s dialect and specific phonetics.

An example of an English tongue twister is the phrase “She sells sea shells by the seashore,” which emphasizes the sounds “Sh” and “s.” Similar tongue twisters exist for other popular English sounds:

  • “Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew.”
  • “Betty Botter bought a bit of butter.”
  • “Making Betty Botter’s bitter batter better.”
  • “Wayne went to Wales to watch walruses.”
  • “Six Czech cricket critics.”
  • “Rubber baby buggy bumpers.”
  • “Red lorry, yellow lorry.”

Tongue twisters serve a specific purpose: to teach us to pronounce the most challenging sounds. This includes the “th” sound. Its pronunciation is very soft, something between a softened “s” and “sh.” Pronouncing it initially can be difficult as the tongue and other facial parts are not accustomed to such a dialect.

Difficult sounds also include the soft “r,” which is often pronounced without a distinct accent, and the “w,” which is significantly different from the familiar “в” sound, partly because “w” is pronounced without the vocal cords touching during exhale.

If you’ve been speaking another language your whole life, pronouncing these sounds correctly may be challenging. Incorrect pronunciation can lead to English speakers having difficulty understanding you.

Therefore, it is recommended to choose up to five tongue twisters for the most challenging sounds in the English language and memorize them. It’s best to repeat them every week and ensure that the pronunciation is correct. An English language tutor, especially one available online, can be helpful in this regard.

While tongue twisters are a useful exercise, they are not sufficient for comprehensive learning. They are just a part of speaking practice that helps improve fluency. However, the question remains: will you speak correctly, or will you develop fluent speech with persistent errors?

To avoid the need for further correction, it is essential to dedicate more time to listening to English speech. Movies, series, YouTube, and podcasts are excellent sources for improving pronunciation and developing an intuitive understanding of the language without accent. Experiment with using a recorder as well: read tongue twisters, analyze, identify problematic areas, and focus on correcting mistakes.


Interesting Blog

  • Liked: 324

    7 best podcasts for learning English

    Have you been studying English for a long time but still struggle to understand native speakers? Different approaches work for different people. Some watch movies and TV shows without subtitles, some find a conversation partner and try to speak more with a native speaker, and others start listening to podcasts — whether at home in...

  • Liked: 301

    Unlocking the path to language tutoring success

    Many individuals contemplate changing their career path or field of activity but struggle to make a definitive decision, often due to uncertainty about their knowledge and preparation. This hesitation is commonly observed in the field of education as well. Someone might aspire to teach a foreign language but harbor doubts about whether their proficiency level...

  • Liked: 290

    How to plan your online teaching schedule

    In the ever-evolving landscape of online language teaching, establishing a well-structured teaching schedule is crucial for tutors aiming for success on platforms like Repetry. This guide delves deeper into each aspect of schedule planning, complete with practical examples, to help tutors create an optimized and balanced teaching routine. 1. Understand Your Availability Start by conducting...

  • Liked: 279

    Teaching English in Zoom: harnessing the power of online platforms

    Teaching is a dynamic process that demands educators to be abreast of the latest trends and innovations. In light of recent events, the notion that distance learning is not suitable for everyone has faded into insignificance. Online education, once considered inconvenient and niche, has now taken the lead and expanded human capabilities. Hence, the necessity...

  • Liked: 277

    Potential earnings for online language tutors

    If you’re passionate about sharing your language skills, Repetry offers a unique platform to earn income while making a difference.  Unlike traditional teaching jobs, Repetry puts you in control. Set your own rates, craft a schedule that fits your life, and connect with eager students from all corners of the globe – all from the...

View all