I was reading this webpage: http://www.aacfs.com/10pronunciationtip ... eakers.htm from another recent post on another thread in this Forum. Among the other things that were written, was this explanation of how to make an "r" sound.
It reminded me of some books I've seen in which the tongue position for the "r" sound is very retroflex, with the tip curled back.To make the “R” sound, push your tongue back. Curl the tip of your tongue upwards towards the roof of your mouth but do NOT touch the roof of your mouth.
Round your lips and make sure your upper lip is above your front teeth.
It just so happens that when I make an "r" sound, I don't move the tip of my tongue up. It seems that the tongue position I use is one where the back of the tongue is pressed against the upper back teeth and the tongue is bunched toward the back. It seems the bunching is more important than whether the tongue is pointing up or not.
When I help students make an "r" sound, I have had some luck starting from an /i/ sound, and having them pull back their tongue, keeping it against the top teeth. Another possibility for those who have a trilled r is for them to start with that, and then move their tongue back, keeping it against the upper back teeth, until they lose the trill. For Asian speakers, I stress that no matter how great their "r" starts out, if they let their tongue get loose and touch the top of their palate with it, it will sound like an "l".
So how about the rest of you? I'm curious to know what techniques you use to help students with the "r" sound, and also whether your tongue is pointed up, down, or in the middle. (I speak American English, by the way.)
Here's to sticking your finger in your mouth