Tongue twister

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
Many dishes, many diseases.
After dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.

Tongue twisters are phrases or sentences which are hard to speak fast, usually because of alliteration or a sequence of words with very similar sounds. Tongue twisters help develop speech skills in young children as well as older children who need additional help with speech therapy.

Activity

To get the full effect of tongue twisters you should repeat them several times, as quickly as possible, without stumbling or mispronouncing. Good luck! All levels and ages enjoy tongue twisters. They work well as a warm up to get students speaking, and they help students to practise pronouncing difficult sounds in English. All levels and ages enjoy tongue twisters. They work well as a warm up to get students speaking, and they help students to practise pronouncing difficult sounds in English.

Procedure

• I will write some English tongue twisters on the board or on pieces of paper to distribute to students. I Ask them to read the tongue twisters aloud. Then faster. Then three times in a row. Here are some examples:
o She sells sea shells on the sea shore
o A proper copper coffee pot
o Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran
o Red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry
o A big black bug bit a big black bear
o Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
• Ask the students if they have any tongue twisters in their Native Language. Have a go at saying them yourself. This usually causes a good laugh, and makes the activity more two-way and interactive.
• Now I ask the students to have a go at creating their own tongue twisters. This activity is a variation of the famous ‘Consequences’ game. I will Write the following questions on the board:
1. Write your first name
2. What did she/he do?
3. Where?
4. When?
5. Why? Because…
• Now give students the following instructions:
o Get into teams of about 5 people.
o On a piece of blank paper write your answer to question 1.
o Pass the paper to the person on your right. Write an answer to question 2 on the paper you have just received. Your answer must begin with the first sound in the person’s name (e.g. Bob – bought a bike).
o Pass the paper on again and write an answer to question 3, again using the sound at the beginning of the name.
o Continue until all the questions have been answered.
o Pass the paper back to the person who started with it. Read all of the tongue twisters aloud.
• It might help if you give the students some examples before they begin the exercise:

o Susan sang a song at the seaside on the 6th of September because she saw some sunshine
o Lary laughed in the laundrette at lunchtime because she lost her laundry.

All levels and ages enjoy tongue twisters. They work well as a warm up to get students speaking, and they help students to practise pronouncing difficult sounds in English.

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