Bilingual is Better
Photo by christopher.woo

Photo by christopher.woo

Today’s Ask an Expert question was sent in by one of our fellow Mamás Blogueras, Tati from Wanna Jugar With migo.  She´s concerned about her daughter having a hard time rolling her R´s.

Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

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?”

Hi Tati,

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.

Sincerely,
Ellen Stubbe Kester, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Bilinguistics Speech and Language Services, Austin, Texas

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