Are tongue twisters really a good pronunciation tool?
Yes, if you use them right.
A tongue twister is a word, phrase, or sentence difficult to pronounce because of a succession of similar sounds. It’s used to improve speech abilities.
It’s that series of similar sounds that explains why it is so hard. You should make the similar sounds clear when it’s easy to slip. So don’t worry if you can’t do it from the first … bunch of times. You can achieve it with practice eventually.
But there is nothing about “saying it quickly” in the definition and it’s the usual student mistake. They don’t pay enough attention to pronouncing each sound correctly but try to say them fast. A lot of student videos on social media show that you can understand them only if you know the text.
So, the golden rule is to make sure that you know how to produce each sound in the sentence correctly, then you can practice reading the whole phrase aloud and eventually say it faster if you’d like. It will give a boost to your speech quality, but this can be an additional goal, not the main one.
Now a little bit of practice. This is the most popular and really working Russian tongue twister for the rolling “R” (“Р”). It’s enough to practice the first line, but if you can pronounce the first line already, do the rest.
If you’re not sure how to pronounce «Р» correctly, please ask me or any qualified teacher for help. This way you can improve your pronunciation much faster. If you remember the drill -- time to practice. Good luck!
“На дворе - трава, на траве – дрова,
(In the yard there is grass – on the grass - firewood
Не руби дрова на траве двора!”
(Don’t chop wood on the grass of the yard!)