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Vocalic R Shuffle
Ages: 6-17   Grades: 1-12

Add variety and spontaneity to vocalic /r/ drill with your favorite card games!  The card decks are organized like authentic decks of playing cards to give a huge range of practice possibilities.    


  • Establish correct articulation of vocalic /r/
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Each deck has 52 unique pictures and two joker cards.  There are single and multi-syllable words with vocalic r in all positions.  Each deck has four suits and is numbered just like an authentic deck of playing cards.  The game possibilities are endless.  Deal a hand of Go Fish, Crazy Eights, or War.  Play memory games by matching suits, numbers, and face cards.  Mix sounds from different decks to accommodate varied student goals. 

There are six card decks for a total of 312 pictures:    

  • "air"—e.g., carry, billionaire
  •  "ar"—e.g., army, garlic
  • "ear"—e.g., beard, engineer
  • "er"—e.g., curb, daughter
  • "or"—e.g., forget, newborn
  •  Mixed contexts—e.g., margarine, super hero

Copyright © 2011

6 card decks (each deck has 52 cards and 2 jokers)
  • Speech-sound intervention involves facilitation of newly-acquired articulation abilities to a variety of speaking and listening contexts (ASHA, 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 Shuffle 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. Retrieved March 15, 2011, from

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

Ristuccia, C., & Aldridge, M. (2007). [Effectiveness of 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 Unpublished raw data.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.




Vocalic /r/ is often the last lingering phoneme in articulation therapy and is resistant to treatment due to highly ingrained incorrect production.  The six decks of Vocalic R Shuffle (air, ar, ear, er, or, and mixed vocalic /r/) provide multiple opportunities for clients to produce words containing vocalic /r/ at the word or sentence level.  Vocalic /r/ is targeted in both the medial and final position of various target words for optimum opportunities for drill and carryover practice.

Suggestions for Use

  • Use one of the Vocalic R Shuffle decks in group therapy to play classic card games such Kings in the Korner, Old Maid (remove three queens and leave one queen in the deck for the maid), or Crazy Eights.  For each request/turn in the card game, the client must say the word correctly or put it in a sentence, depending on the skill level.
  • Two children can play the card game War with the deck.  Have the child who wins each match-up put the two words from the collected cards in a sentence.
  • A single, older client may use the deck to play solitaire, saying various words quickly in order to train automaticity and transfer.  This may only be appropriate for a client who is self-monitoring his speech productions and is showing emerging self-correcting skills.