I begin by demonstrating the difference between the two sounds. First I introduce the ‘r’ sound. I make a growling noise like a dog and point to the letter r that I have written on the board. All my students are Japanese and familiar with the problem in imitating this sound. I ask the students to copy me and show them the sound comes from within the throat with the tongue back. Facial expression like a dog for emphasis and ‘fun.’
Next the ‘l’ sound. This is a high la la la sound. Tongue to the front and touching the front teeth and rising into the roof of the mouth. Pointing to the letter l on the board I ask the students to repeat. I swap from l to r and back asking the students to copy and checking pronunciation. I point upwards to emphasize the rising l sound.
The drill phase. Practicing minimal pairs of words written on the board e.g. frame/flame; crime/climb; right/light etc. Drill again.
Then practicing the target sounds in phrases and short sentences. Window frame; hot flame; Police! It’s a crime; climb the hill; turn right; turn on the light. These examples are illustrated by miming actions and students read from prepared handouts.
The checking phase. I target sounds and students say which word they hear by saying R or L sound. Crown/lip/lake/clown/rip/rake/lap/rap etc. I repeat after the students make their first choice pointing at the tongue’s position i.e. throat or teeth/roof of mouth and miming the words.
Finally demonstration by way of a communication activity. The students try to make as many fun sentences as they can with the R and L words already practiced. I pre-teach with a few examples on the board. “I met a clown wearing a crown. He was near a lake holding a rake.
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I used to have students watch Britney Spears "Lucky." When she sings the song she visibly has her tongue touch the tip of her teeth in an exaggerated "Lucky" to emphasize the L. We do a basic gapfill with it, but I see other teachers use the song to practice tenses: http://busyteacher.org/2784-song-worksheet...ney-spears.html
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