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Vocalic R To Go®
Ages: 6-17   Grades: 1-12         

Successfully train seven vocalic /r/ contexts with a variety of elicitation techniques, creative practice activities, auditory stimulation, and humor. 


  • Successfully articulate vocalic /r/ sounds in isolation; syllables; initial, medial, and final position of words; phrases; sentences; and in guided conversation
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

This comprehensive, systematic program includes: 

  • deep tests of "r," vocalic "r," and oral motor skills
  • 24 ways to elicit "er"
  • auditory stimulation exercises
  • activities adaptable to word, phrase, and sentence level
  • numerous practice opportunities on each page
  • age-appropriate vocabulary
  • IEP goals
  • carryover activities including puzzles, riddles, barrier games, and other games

The activities are designed for easy measurement of progress.  Most of the lessons have a "challenge" exercise.  Children enjoy practicing and telling the "r" loaded jokes interspersed throughout the activities. 

Train production of vocalic /r/ in these contexts:

  • stressed "er" (bird, nurse, circle)
  • unstressed "er" (dinner, washer, singer)
  • "ar" (army, car, alarm)
  • "air" (arrow, square, canary)
  • "ear" (ear buds, sphere, cheerful)
  • "ire" (Irish, umpire, siren)
  • "or" (Oregon, score, fourteen)
  • "rl" (coral, girl)

Copyright © 2007

102 pages
  • Speech-sound intervention should include assessment, discrimination, and production.  Treatment should facilitate generalization of newly acquired skills to a variety of listening, speaking, and literacy-learning contexts (ASHA, 2004).
  • Speech-sound intervention should facilitate correct productions across word positions and linguistic units (Bernthal & Bankson, 2004).
  • Impairment in phonology and speech production impedes the development of effective communication, language, and/or speech (Taylor-Goh, 2005).
  • One of the most frequently misarticulated sounds is /r/.  Many researchers have addressed the variability of the /r/ phoneme and the need to consider the various allophones in assessment and intervention (Curtis & Hardy, 1959; Shine, Downes, & Denning, 1982; Pollock, 1991; Ristuccia & Aldridge, 2007).

Vocalic R To Go incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2004). Preferred practice patterns for the profession of speech-language pathology [Preferred Practice Patterns]. Retrieved June 3, 2009, from

Bernthal, J.E., & Bankson, N.W. (2004). Articulation and phonological disorders. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Curtis, J., & Hardy, J. (1959). A phonetic study of misarticulation of /r/. Journal of Speech Hearing Research, 2, 244-257.

Pollock, K.E. (1991). The identification of vowel errors using traditional articulation or phonological process test stimuli. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 22, 39-50.

Ristuccia, C., & Aldridge, M. (2007). [Effectiveness of a phonetically-consistent treatment program for /r/ articulation disorders in elementary school children]. Unpublished raw data.

Shine, R., Downes, M., & Denning, S. (1982). The 10 phones of /r/: Implications for assessment and treatment. Presentation at the annual conference of the North Carolina Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Wilmington, NC.

Taylor-Goh, S. (2005). Royal college of speech & language therapists: Clinical guidelines. United Kingdom: Speechmark.


Beverly Plass


Beverly Plass, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in the Irvine Unified School District in Irvine, California.  She's worked with students of all ages and disabilities for over 20 years.  Bev has learned that to teach articulation skills, you need to break down the steps, provide for much practice of each context, and motivate the student so the drills are disguised as fun activities.  Bev has published several books with LinguiSystems, including SPARC R & S, SPARC Artic Junior, and Functional Vocabulary for Adolescents & Adults.  When Bev grows up, she hopes to publish children's books.


Teaching a child to correctly pronounce the vocalic /r/ sound can be both challenging and rewarding.

Why is it challenging?

  • The /r/ phoneme is a later developing sound, usually acquired by the age of 6 years.
  • The child's oral motor skills need to be fully developed to produce the /r/ sound.  The child needs to be able to simultaneously position the jaw, lips, and different parts of the tongue.  Slight placement errors significantly alter the accuracy of the /r/ production.
  • There are multiple ways to correctly produce /r/, and none of them are easy to see for imitation.
  • It is difficult for a child to feel his tongue shape and position while saying "er."
  • The tongue position for /r/ varies depending on the phonetic context, especially for the post-vocalic /r/ sounds.

What is the reward?  The /r/ sound is one of the most frequently used sounds in English, and it is the only consonant that significantly alters the sound of the preceding vowels.  Remediating the /r/ sound will significantly increase the intelligibility of the child's speech.

The purpose of Vocalic R To Go is to give speech-language pathologists a comprehensive, systematic program to successfully remediate the vocalic /r/ sounds. The program includes:

  • deep testing of articulation and oral motor skills
  • auditory stimulation exercises
  • elicitation techniques
  • seven vocalic /r/ contexts: stressed "er," unstressed "er," "ar," "air," "ear," "ire," and "or"
  • challenging "r l" contexts
  • lots of practice for each context and level
  • activities that zero in on specific levels (isolation and syllables as well as initial, final, and medial positions in words, phrases, and sentences)
  • fun-filled carryover activities, puzzles, jokes, and games rich with vocalic /r/ words
  • worksheets at all levels that can be used both in therapy and as home practice

Student-friendly vocabulary is targeted whenever possible throughout the book.  Occasionally, in order to provide sufficient practice for each vocalic /r/ in each word position, less common words are included.  Use these words to introduce new vocabulary or omit the words as appropriate for your students.  Similarly, some open-compound words are included for sufficient word-level practice (e.g., soccer ball for medial "er") since the child coarticulates a medial unstressed "er" in these instances.

I hope that you find these materials easy-to-use, effective, and motivating for your students.