how to pronounce r sound

This pronunciation lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children to help them pronounce the letter ‘r’ using its phonic sound.

Learning phonic sounds is important for children as this helps them read faster and more fluently. This is the first step in learning spelling and vocabulary.

In our previous video lesson, we learned about phonics, the importance of learning phonics, and the phonic sound of letter q. This pronunciation video lesson is the 18th in a row when learning the sound of English alphabet letters. 

Why Phonics is Important for Children to Learn?

Phonics teaches children how to decipher letters into their sounds. This is an essential skill to read unfamiliar words. 

Even though young children know some words, most of them are unfamiliar to them. With the knowledge of letters and sounds, children can make connections between their knowledge of unknown printed words and spoken words. 

How to Pronounce the ‘r’ Sound?

The letter R is a consonant, and the r sound is called an alveolar approximant or a liquid consonant. In this type of sound, the airflow is shifted with the movement of the tongue. The R sound is produced from the narrow space between the tongue and the top of the mouth. 

Although there are three different ways to pronounce the ‘r sound’ /r/, and the tongue placement is quite different between the two of them, but the sound they produce is very similar. An important aspect is that the tongue never touches the tooth ridge while producing the r sound.

  • Method 1 (solid): The back of the tongue is raised so the sides of the tongue touch the back teeth. The center of the back of the tongue is lower and the air travels through this groove to create the sound. The tip of the tongue may point upward or may be left low, like in a car, red, etc.
  • Method 2 (dashed): The tip of the tongue is raised and curled back behind the tooth ridge while the back of the tongue stays low, like in carrying, worry, etc.
  • Method 3 (closed): this is the ‘wr’ sound where the pronunciation differs from the above 2 methods. The mouth closes to make w before sounding r like in write, wrong, etc.

Pronunciation of the letter r is considered one of the hardest English language sounds to articulate. But let us try and understand it in easy ways –

In general, if we pronounce r correctly, the mouth makes a small circle. The rounded lips are the first component of a proper “r” pronunciation. The tongue makes a small mound or hump in the mouth, and sound waves travel over that mound to properly execute the sound. In order to make the “r” sound, the pharynx has to constrict or tighten.

A few more words with the pronunciation of the letter ‘r’ as /r/ are: 

Reptile, rug, ramp, raccoon, red, rent, etc

 How to Introduce the Pronunciation of the ‘r’ to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them, today we are going to learn the sound of the letter ‘r’ produces.
  2. Show the child what the letter ‘r’ looks like and the sound of the letter ‘r’. 
  3. Say it several times by producing the /r/ sound as demonstrated in the video.
  4. Ask the child to repeat the sound after you.
  5. Show the child a picture or miniature of words starting with ‘r’ such as a rose. 
  6. Repeat the sound of the letter r every time while showing the image of the rose. 
  7. Now show another picture and again produce the letter ‘r’ sound.
  8. Ask the child to pronounce the letter ‘r’ and practice it.

Other Ways to Introduce the Letter r to the Child?

  1.     R for rock – allow the child to collect some small rocks from a park or garden. Let them color it and pitch them to pronounce r-rock as they keep coloring.
  2.     R- Row, row, row your boat; remember this rhyme. Sing along with the rhyme and focus on r-row as many times as you sing.
  3.     R for ring – let the child make a thin roll of clay dough and place it along a finger forming a ring. They can pronounce r-ring as they fold the clay dough.
  4.     R for rainbow mosaic – allow the children to cut small pieces of craft paper of the color of a rainbow. Let them glue in rainbow series and keep rhyming r-rainbow.
  5.     R for room – Assign the duty to the child to clean the room once in a while singing various words with r- room, red, rabbit, and more.
  6.     Introducing some craft and coloring activities with r can be fun and would keep the child involved for hours.

This video allows the child to explore the short consonant sound of the English letter ‘R’ and learn words starting with it, such as rose, rubber, rhinoceros, and rooster. The sounds are repeated for each word so that the child can hear and pronounce the letter accurately.

Related Pronunciation Videos:

  1. Pronunciation of the letter ‘j’
  2. Pronunciation of the letter ‘m’
  3. Pronunciation of the letter ‘q’
  4. Pronunciation of the letter ‘s’

For more pronunciation and English language resources, click here

Video created by: Strykun Olena


  • english language
  • kindergarten
  • phonic sound
  • primary level
  • pronunciation