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Subject: Speech Therapy for Multilingual Child
Question: Our daughter has been taken speechtherapy to learn to say the ''R''
instead of the ''L'', as she went to the German school they did
teach her to say the R correctly, however, as they do in German,
the sound coming from the back of the throat. However, she also
speaks Spanish and Swiss German and English, where the ''R'' is
pronounced in the front of the mouth (with the tongue by the front
teeth). Problem is, she now can say High German words correctly
with the ''R'' from the back, but when she speaks in Spanish and
Swiss German she can't and still uses the ''L'' instead. Question:
can a speech therapist teach the ''R'' to be used in any language or
do we have to get someone for each language? I am frustrated with
our current speech therapist who doesn't care that my daughter
says it wrong in other languages, as long as she did her job with
High German... Any advice and or pointing me in the right direction
is greatly appreciated! (P.S. My daughter is 6 years old.)

Thank you in advance!

Reply: As you have correctly noted, the articulation of the /r/ sound differs between English,
Spanish and German.

It is also one of the more difficult sounds to acquire in both Spanish and English, even
in monolingual chrildren, for various reasons.

I agree with Dr Cruz's suggestion to find someone who understands how to articulate
the English /r/ and the Spanish /r/. If you are interested in doing your own research, I
would recommend finding pronunciation books, preferably with images showing the
placement of the tongue.

Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
Date: 17-Sep-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Speech Therapy for Multilingual Child    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (17-Sep-2012)
  2. Re: Speech Therapy for Multilingual Child    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (17-Sep-2012)
  3. Re: Speech Therapy for Multilingual Child    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (22-Sep-2012)

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