Site Search:
 

Banner

Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index Teacher Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How to differ /l/ /n/ and /r/?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Pronunciation
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ningdoes



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: How to differ /l/ /n/ and /r/? Reply with quote

I have some students who are from the South of China. When they read some words such as "lead" , it sounds like "need", and the same thing happened to /r/ sound. What can I do to solve this? Thank you very much.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only seen the /n/ /l/ confusion with Cantonese speakers, but it may exist somewhere else too! I try to make them conscious of using their nose for the /n/, and see if they can block the air coming out so it doesn't sound nasal. I'd love to know if anyone has found any "tricks." As for the /r/ and the /l/, see if anything in these threads will help:

http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=791

http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=1257
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
ningdoes



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: thank you Reply with quote

I've visited there, and I found they were practical. I will wait and see if they will work with my students.
Thank you for your kindness.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FangWB



Joined: 19 Nov 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: How to differ /l/ /n/ and /r/? Reply with quote

ningdoes wrote:
I have some students who are from the South of China. When they read some words such as "lead" , it sounds like "need", and the same thing happened to /r/ sound. What can I do to solve this? Thank you very much.


I am originally from southwest of China. It is true that people from south have difficulty distinguish the diffenrence between /n/ and /l/. They both sound the same to the southerners. They normally pronunce both sounds as /l/. Therefore, /n/ is the only sound that they need to work on. To make the sound of /n/, I asked them to pinch their noses, put their tongues behind top teeth and slowly said the sound.

For the sound of /r/, most of them are not able to pronuce correctly simply because they never need to roll their tongues to make the /er/ sound as beijinger's do. The closest sounds to /r/ found in their southern dialect are /er/ as in 'er zi' which means son and 'er duo' which means ear. You may start from these words in Chinese and show them the tongue position and eventually add the /r/ sound in it.

Hope this helps.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CEJ



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of articulation, many /l/, /n/ and /r/ sounds are somewhat similar. In English, /l/ and /r/ have acoustic profiles that can cause perception issues. Although a phonemic approach is attractive in its simplicity (contrast the three, perhaps two at a time), it is ultimately self-defeating because of the phonetic complexity around each of these sounds in real English. Again, I find dealing with each sound in three main positions, at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of words, is helpful. English /n/ has a lot more going on positionally though, and requires more work.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CEJ, would you mind explaining more about /n/?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
CEJ



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lorikeet wrote:
CEJ, would you mind explaining more about /n/?

One typical example would be compare and contrast [n] in 'not' vs. [n] in 'incapacitated'. So phonetically speaking common variations of /n/ overlap with the nasal velar sound at the end of words like 'ring', 'sing'.
Sound recordings reveal native speakers typically move the [n] sound back toward the velum when saying words like 'incapacitated' even though they are not aware they do this.


Morphophonemically speaking, /n/ overlaps with /m/: 'intolerant' but 'immoderate' but also 'inconsiderate'. Now, is the [m] of im- an allophone of /n/? If it isn't, why is a nasal velar in 'inconsiderate' an allophone, but an [m] not? Again, the inadequacies of a phonemic account of phonology.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ningdoes



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:21 am    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

Thanks for your great ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mouseneb



Joined: 02 Dec 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all, I have a student from Sichuan who can hear the difference between /l/ and /n/ but pronounces both sounds as /n/. I gave her a Mandarin example using /l/ (了) but she pronounced it as "ne" instead of "le." Her classmates laughed at her at that point, so I switched strategies and tried to think about how I pronounce /l/ vs. /n/ and decided I usually roll the tip of my tongue back for /l/ but not for /n/. I drew her a little diagram of the tongue positioning, and somehow this girl managed to put her tongue in the rolled back position and still say /n/! Have you got any other strategies for me to try out? Perhaps I'm not realising I'm doing something else critical to produce the /l/ sound vs. the /n/.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
eslweb



Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 208
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: I had the same trouble... Reply with quote

Finger models of the mouth help, but I've actually just finished writing a bit of software to help with these problems... It was initially a little Flash file on my Website, but it's now a fully fledged bit of software that helps students listen for the differences in difficult phonemes. My Japanese student has been testing it and she says that she can now hear a difference between r and l...
http://www.jamesabela.co.uk/beginner/Pronunciation.html You can use the flash directly off the site or download the executable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Luke Zimmermann



Joined: 18 Jan 2007
Posts: 26
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always use hand-movements to explain the difference between l and n. One hand represents the tongue and the pointer and thumb of the other hand represent the top and bottom teeth. With both sounds the tip of the tongue touches the back of the top teeth, but with the l, the sides of the tongue are dropped. (This is why l is called a lateral sound.) The air flows out over the sides of the tongue.

Since the n is a nasal sound, the air flow in the mouth is completely blocked. The tongue seals off the roof of the mouth and the air comes out through the nose. (Goodness, this stuff is hard to explain in words)

Students need to see this. You can see pictures of it in books like Tree or Three, Ship or Sheep and Pronunciation Pairs, but the hand movements are more effective. Once they see the difference, they must feel the difference and practise until it feels comfortable.

The follow-up is most important. Once you have practised this in minimal pairs, never let your students get away with mixing these sounds up again. For the next month at least you will have to remind them when they confuse the sounds, when reading aloud or speaking freely. To change the habit takes time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
eslweb



Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 208
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:12 pm    Post subject: L and N now on Pronunciation Page Reply with quote

You'll be pleased to hear that I've now added L and N to the pronunciation page with it's own little Flash game to help practice the sounds.
http://www.jamesabela.co.uk/beginner/Pronunciation.html

I hope that saves some teachers repeating it 50 times a day!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
toogoodtobetrue



Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject: middle east Reply with quote

my students cannot pronounce p or j they sound like ba so they might say phonetically I bark my car, I am looking for a bab (job). Middle east. Haven't found the best way to correct this yet.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
eslweb



Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 208
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make up or find a little poem or verse with those sounds in and encourage them. It's good to do plenty of drilling and then if you have it, get them to record their voices and playback until they get it. But please remember it takes a lot of patience to correct these things and little and often is the way to go.

My Japanese student took the best part of a month to hear the difference and another month or so to be able to say it differently and that was with a lot of practice. (Which is why I created that little app in the first place, because my voice was going sore repeating it so many times.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1372
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: middle east Reply with quote

toogoodtobetrue wrote:
my students cannot pronounce p or j they sound like ba so they might say phonetically I bark my car, I am looking for a bab (job). Middle east. Haven't found the best way to correct this yet.


I haven't taught too many Middle Eastern students. I have never heard of j sounding like b. One way to make the p instead of a b is to get them to put the puff of air when the p is in initial position. I used to hang a paper over my mouth and say "pen" and they could see the paper move. I know teachers who used to do that with a match, but that was before everyone stopped smoking Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Teacher Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Pronunciation All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Teachers College, Columbia University: Train to Teach English Here or Abroad
SIT

This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group