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The tongue is a vital part of the voice, allowing us to produce sound. If you’re a beginner, it may be difficult to get your tongue vibrating, but you can learn how to do it!
First, you need to understand where your tongue needs to go. It’s a very important place in speech, so make sure you understand where your tongue is when you say “duh” or “tea.”
You need to position your tongue against the alveolar ridge, right behind your teeth. That means that you need to push it up against the edge of the ridge with a strong force. The air that passes through the gap between your tongue and the ridge will make it vibrate.
Once you know what that is, it’s time to practice. Try saying the D sound a few times, making your tongue press down against the ridge with a lot of pressure. This will help to relax your tongue and get it in the right place.
Another great way to learn where your tongue needs to go is to play with a whoopee cushion or balloon. Adjusting the tension in the opening allows students to see and feel how air can change pitch.
After learning how to use a whoopee cushion or balloon, it’s a good idea to have your students play with their tongues and see where they can move the tip of the tongue to create different sounds. You can also have them try to blow raspberries and make a motor sound using their lips.
One of the most difficult trills to learn is the rolled R, which is used in many languages. The process is simple, but it’s a tough sound to master for a native English speaker.
To start practicing the rolled R, you need to first learn how to make a lip trill (the closed tongue trill). This is a very basic and easy trill that requires only a tiny gap between your molars and your tongue. You’ll want to do this exercise multiple times, making it as close to your natural speaking voice as possible.
Once you’ve got this down, it’s time to make a trill that creates the rolled R. You can do this by extending your tongue out to the side, and then closing it tightly and pulling back in quickly until the tip of the tongue hits the ridge on the roof of your mouth.
Next, you’ll need to relax your tongue so that it doesn’t press down against the ridge with as much force as you did for the open tongue trill. This will help to make the rolled R sound less difficult, but it’s still a bit tricky and you should practice a few times to ensure that you’re doing it correctly.
You’ll need to experiment with a few different positions, so be sure to practice them until you get the hang of it. You can then practice this trill in your own mouth, and you’ll be able to use it for all your Spanish pronunciations!