Teaching an Old Dog a New Trick

Right after I started this blog, I wrote a post outlining how I work with students on the /r/ sound. At the beginning of the year, I discovered "The Karla Technique".  I watched videos on youtube, and it looked simple enough, so I tried it with some all of my /r/ kids. They.Could. Do. It!!! All I had to do now was isolate that /r/. Easier said than done.
Enter Speaking of Speech. She had it on her webpage, but it has been taken down. Luckily, I found it on Pinterest! You can find it here.  
I'm not going to lie and say that all of my /r/ kids now have it. This technique has worked for a couple of my kids, in particular, one student who has been working on /r/ for 2 years. This is her 3rd year working on just being able to make that darned /r/ sound. (This is my first year with her.) When I met with mom in Oct., she asked, "What if she doesn't get it?" I assured her that she would get it (although I wasn't 100% sure she would) and that we would continue to work on it until she did. I tried "my" (or rather, Char Boshart's) technique, and she just didn't get it. Then I had her say "karla". We used the pvc pipe so she could hear that she could say it. She's now on the word level and is doing GREAT! She 's even starting to show some carryover into conversation! 
Bottom line: If you're having trouble getting that stinkin' /r/ sound, check out the "karla" technique. It's one more weapon for us to use in our arsenal!


  1. Haven't heard of this method! I have some fairly resistant /r/s on my caseload (don't we all). I have been using SATPAC by Steven Sacks since last year and have had some very good results. I'm definitely going to give this a try!

  2. I would love to start using the Karla technique with some of my students. Unfortunately, it looks like the link to Speaking of Speech's written description isn't working. Would you mind sending it to me? My email is ldalbey@fredschools.com. I would greatly appreciate it!



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