How to roll the Spanish R: The breadcrumbs exercise
To start making the Spanish R hold the tongue close to the roof of the mouth while the tongue is vibrating and try to blow the vibration forwards to the alveolar ridge, which is the space between your teeth and the top wall of your mouth. At the same time, you need to be very gently pushing your tongue upwards towards the alveolar ridge but not too hard to block the airflow since the front part of the tongue needs to relax to be able to vibrate.
If you find hard to work on your tongue is because in some languages, for instance English, speakers never use the tongue partially tensed while the front of it is relaxed. The tongue is a muscle and this lack of exercise is what makes it hard to pronounce it.
Therefore, to be able to perform the Spanish R the tongue of some learners needs to workout first. To do so, you can do the following exercise used often by speech therapists.
THE BREADCRUMBS EXERCISE TO WORKOUT YOUR TONGUE AND PRONOUNCE THE SPANISH R
Follow the below instructions to do the exercise:
1.- Get a piece of soft white breadcrumb and put it in your mouth.
2.- With the front of your mouth and your tongue bring the breadcrumb to the alveolar ridge and sculpt it to make a ball.
3.- Move the piece of bread towards the alveolar ridge energetically in order to work out the muscles of your tongue.
4.- Keep sculpting the ball for a few minutes or until you make a hard ball with the bread and then trow it away.
After doing this exercise your tongue will be warmed up so take advantage of it and try to pronounce the following Spanish words as many times as you can:
I hope you enjoy the exercise.
I'm a Spanish and English philologist specialised in Spanish linguistics and in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) as I love sharing my language, my culture and a particular vision of the world with people from around the globe, getting to know more about the world itself through them and languages.