The Proof is in the Pudding
Another benefit of using tongue twisters to develop pronunciation skills is that students practice vowel sounds as well as prefixes and suffixes. Listening to and speaking the words repetitively has been found by English language teachers to help students grasp difficult sounds.
For instance, this classic poem enables students to master the b sound as well as the -er ending.
Betty Botter's Better Batter
Betty Botter had some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better.
"So she bought a bit of butter —
Better than her bitter butter —
And she baked it in her batter;
And the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.
This next poem gives practice in the -ght blend, the long i sound as well as ending -s sounds. In addition, students learn multiple meanings of the word light.
Light a Night-Light
You've no need to light a night-light
On a light night like tonight,
For a night-light's light's a slight light,
And tonight's a night that's light.
When a night's light, like tonight's light,
It is really not quite right
To light night-lights with their slight lights
On a light night like tonight.
This ditty gives practice in that pesky f sound. Students also are exposed to words that sound the same, yet are spelled differently with different meanings as in fisher and fissure.
There was a fisherman named Fisher
who fished for some fish in a fissure.
Till a fish with a grin,
pulled the fisherman in.
Now they're fishing the fissure for Fisher.