The perfect expert to answer this question is Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D, CCS-LLP, a bilingual (English/Spanish) speech language professional. You can read more about Dr. Kester, check out her previous posts and ask her a question (or any of the other experts on our panel) here.
My Daughter can’t Roll her R’s
“My daughter is almost 5 and she still can’t roll her r’s. How do I teach her to roll her r’s? Are there certain exercises that help? Do native children speakers have a hard time also?”
The trilled R is the latest sound to develop in Spanish. There are a number of resources for speech development in Spanish and they all indicate that children do not typically roll their r’s until 5 to 7 years of age. Your daughter is not behind but if you want practice the trilled r, here are a couple of ideas.
The trilled R is a D sound with the tip of the tongue moving. Try these drills:
The syllable level:
DRA DRE DRI DRO DRU
TRA TRE TRI TRO TRU
The word level:
PARDO, TARDE, CUERDA, GORDO
Hope this helps. Please keep us up-to-date on her progress.
Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP