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What is LR Syndrome and How to Build Proper Pronunciation

LR syndrome—a defective pronunciation of the r sound and substituting it for another sound especially the l sound (LR syndrome).

Ozeeoma Okere
Ozeeoma Okere
Book lesson

Conversation A

Interviewer: Welcome Mr. Jack, are you ready for your interview?
Mr. Jack: Thank you very much. Yes, I am ready.

Conversation B

Interviewer: Welcome Mr. Jack, are you ready for this interview?
Mr. Jack: Thank you vely much. Yes, I am Leady.

Conversation C

Mrs. Anna: Could you point me to the nearest library please?
Stranger: Yes, it’s the building right behind you.

Conversation D

Mrs. Anna: Could you point me to the nealest liblaly please?
Stranger: Yes, it’s the building right behind you.

Yes, you read it correctly and no it was not a typo. The conversations you see above show an example of people who are affected with a speech disorder known as the LR syndrome—a defective pronunciation of the r sound and substituting it for another sound especially the l sound (LR syndrome). If you are affected by this, please get in here this is for you.

The reasons for LR syndrome

The LR syndrome could be due to some following reasons but for most ESL students, it may be due to the absence of the /r/ sound in their native language which they are already used to speaking.

Having the LR syndrome should not be the end of your ESL journey instead it should be a stepping stone to being the best. There are so many ways to beating the LR syndrome in order for you to have an exceptional English speaking experience, especially physical exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles that produce speech sounds, which is what we are going to be talking about in this article.

How to build your /r/ sound pronunciation

Tongue Exercises

According to Arvee Robinson, the most important muscle in your mouth is your tongue and it is important to exercise it in order to not get a lazy tongue. Some of these tongue exercises include sticking your tongue out as far as it can go, moving it from side to side, up and down, angle upper right, upper left, lower right then lower left, and also trying to touch your nose with your tongue.

Repeating the words over and over again

Saying words with the /r/ sound repeatedly in a fast motion would help strengthen your voice while calling that sound.

Practising Tongue Twisters

According to the Oxford dictionary, tongue twisters are a sequence of words or sounds that are difficult to pronounce quickly. These tongue twisters are very effective when it comes to perfecting the pronunciation of a particular sound especially sounds like the /r/ and /l/ sound. An example of such tongue twister includes—Red lorry Yellow Lorry. Saying such a tongue twister very fast might be quite challenging for a person with LR syndrome, so it is advised that one starts slow first and then gradually increase their speed.

Conclusion

Just like physical exercise, you can only build your speaking muscles, by consistently speaking, therefore you need to speak as many times as possible while practicing these sounds in order to ensure their proper pronunciation.

I look forward to seeing you in my classroom so that we can tackle this together. See you soon.

English

Ozeeoma Okere

My name is Ozeeoma and I am from Nigeria. I am an ESL tutor and a graduate of Microbiology. I love learning new things, especially about people's cultures.

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Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

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