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Friday, July 9, 2010

Tongue twisters to develop speech skills and helps in speech therapy

Tongue twisters are the words or phrases in repeated manner for the practice of specific letters or sounds. These tongue exercises are meant for the development of speech skills and speech therapy.

The definition of 'Tongue Twister' is: "A tongue-twister is a phrase that is designed to be difficult to articulate properly."

Researchers have concluded that numerous regions of the brain are responsible for the process of speech production. If any one of these functions becomes impaired or doesn't develop properly, your speech can be affected. Tongue twisters or practice of repeated words or phrases can help us in speech therapy. Therefore Tongue twisters can be of immense help in exercising the muscles of the tongue and the mouth for better control. Most of the people who have trouble in speech, show a drastic improvement in their speaking ability by practising tongue twisters.

Tongue twisters are not only for light-hearted linguistic fun and games. They also serve a practical purpose in practising pronunciation. English tongue twisters may be used by students learning English to improve their accent. They may be used by actors trying to develop a particular accent. Also, they are frequently used by speech therapists to help those with speech difficulties.

Many tongue-twisters use a combination of alliteration and rhyme. They have two or more sequences of sounds that require repositioning the tongue between syllables, then the same sounds are repeated in a different sequence. For example, in the sequence: She sells sea shells... The shells she sells..." requires a speaker to switch rapidly between the sh and s sounds.
When their use is for one of these more serious reasons, then tongue twisters are generally subdivided into categories classifying them by the particular vowel or consonant sounds they exercise. The Peter Piper twister, for example, clearly provides practice for the P sound.

Tips for best use of the tongue twisters:
- One can start on the tongue twisters at a slow pace. See that you are able to say it without breaks.

- The next step would be to know the tongue twister by heart.

- Then one can going on repeating the tongue twister as fast as one can, till the time one can master it. One can do this exercise mastering one tongue twister at a time.

What's the hardest tongue twister? According to Guinness World Records, the hardest tongue-twister in the English language is: "The sixth sick sheikh's sixth sheep's sick."

Useful links and sites:

* 'Tongue Twisters for speech therapy' from 'Speech'
* A large collection of tongue twisters in many languages are available at 'uebersetzung'. Read 'English tongue twisters'
* 'Tongue' has a good collection of tongue twisters.
* ' Fun With Words' offers collection of twisters, poems and rude twisters.
* 'Black Dog's Tongue Twisters'

1 comment:

  1. I guess I should work on the "Peter Piper Bit A Piece" thing again. I hope it improves my speech.

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