Tongue twisters are word games which are fantastic to improve your pronunciation when speaking English! Tongue twisters are phrases (which are often difficult to say!) and which use a certain sound. You must repeat them as quickly as possible whilst still making sure you are speaking clearly.
I love to practice tongue twisters with my English classes, and my students love to compete with each other to say a tongue twister the fastest. In return, some of them have taught me some in their language! They find it hilarious when I struggle over the French sounds, and they make fun of each other when they struggle over the English sounds too!
Try repeating the following tongue twisters to yourself. If you aren’t sure about the sounds, search for clips on the internet - there are lots of funny clips of people getting them wrong!
My favourite tongue twister is:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
The repetition of the ‘w’ and the ‘ch’ sounds can be very tricky.
Other tongue twisters include:
- Red lorry, yellow lorry. Red lorry, yellow lorry. Red lorry, yellow lorry.
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
- She sells sea shells on the sea shore. The shells that she sells are sea shells I’m sure. So if she sells sea shells on the sea shore, then I’m sure she sells sea shore shells!
- Two toads totally tired trying to trot to Tetbury
Here is a link to some people talking about the ‘hardest tongue twister in the world’! The men in the video speak very quickly with American accents, so you may need to watch it a few times to fully understand what they are saying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDE2ynfVxqY
Here are some of the tongue twisters they mention in the video:
- Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat, toy boat
- Top cop, top cop, top cop, top cop
- Sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick
- Pad kid poured curd pulled cod
Note from editor: Have a look at the Tongue Twister section on our Kids website: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/tongue-twisters You can listen to lots of tongue twisters and practise saying them.