Vocalic R For Speech Therapy
Treating the vocalic R in speech therapy can be TOUGH; however, there are ways to ease the pain. Keep reading to learn about my teaching techniques and favorite new materials
*vocalic R is when R comes after a vowel: or, ar, air, ire, er, ear
The Vocalic R Overview
Vocalic R is when R comes after a vowel. In English, there are 7 of them:
- rl (I just threw that one in here because it is not prevocalic and it is difficult to teach!)
Personally, I believe that the vocalic R is difficult for some to learn because
- the slight variations of R due to the preceding vowel
- it is hard to see what the tongue is doing
- vowels and R are very similar in their voice/place/manner
How To Teach The Vocalic R
1st: Assess all R variations
When a child is having difficulty with R, I first assess if he or she is having difficulty with ALL Rs. Most likely a child will be able to say one variation correctly. I assess:
- Initial or Prevocalic R
- R Blends: gr, fr, br, kr, dr, pr, tr
- Vocalic R: or, er, air, ar, ear, ire, RL
Anecdotally, I have the most success with GR and KR
- The tongue is already in the back for the K and G.
- Start with "green" or "cream" since the tongue will naturally anchor to the top molars when saying saying the vowel "eeee.
2nd: Review anatomy
- get our your favorite "mouth"
- review what the tongue, teeth, and jaw have to do to say R
- my tips: tongue back, sides of tongue touch back teeth, tongue is a tight ball
- I love the mouth below from Amazon. It is affordable, small, and durable. I have a few! I have the child use playdoh to make a tongue. Then we shape that tongue for an R. I use that playdoh tongue and mouth all session for feedback. Click the image below to grab it!
- You can also use print or no-print cue cards to review anatomy. The ones below are available on the membership site.
3rd: Practice the R the child CAN say
- use the R the child can say correctly to "train the ears" on how an R is suppose to sound
- the child will start to discriminate between a right and wrong R
- the child will learn how a correct R feels in the mouth
4th: For vocalic R, start with the vowel!
If you want tips on prevocalic R, click here.
- many times, the child isn't saying the vowel correctly when R succeeds it
- use the cues/worksheets below to teach/review vowels
- these cues are now up Speech Therapy Talk's Membership Site.
5th: Combine vowel with R
- I use the cue sheets to start combing the vowel with R.
- I move SLOWLY and NEVER break voicing
- Moving slow gives the child time to get his/her tongue in the right position
6th: Move to word practice
- Once the child can say R at the syllable level with visual and verbal cues, I move to words, etc....
- I like to use the worksheets below to review anatomy and then jump to drill practice. They are great for home practice too.
Vocalic R Materials
When teaching prevocalic and vocalic R, we need the right cues and teaching materials. I added the new materials to the membership site.
Animated Cue Cards
- animated cue cards for OR, AR, IRE, EAR, EAR, ER, AND RL
- Great for teaching and providing the specific feedback each child needs (not too much or too little)
Printable Cue Cards
- Printable cue cards for OR, AR, IRE, EAR, EAR, ER, AND RL
- These are great handouts and help to keep all caregivers on the same page!
- visual cues for how to combine the vowel to R
- use for teaching phase and review as needed
Specific Vocalic R Warm Up
- Warm-Up for: OR, AR, IRE, EAR, EAR, ER, AND RL
- Use for goal review, anatomy review, and to "warm up" muscles
- plus get quick drill practice
Prevocalic & Vocalic R Practice
- If a child can either say the prevocalic R but not the vocalic R (and vice versa), you can use that!
- Use phonetic placement to facilitate the needed R.
- I LOVE THESE!
Want To Grab These Materials?
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