Tongue twisters

During school closures we are publishing descriptions of short activities that EAL learners can do independently at home or with their parents, or that can be set by teachers for online learning. Today’s activity comes from Charlotte Harding of The Khalsa Academy Wolverhampton. She is using tongue twisters as a way to keep the fun going at home with English pronunciation and fluency.

Since we started planning and delivering online lessons, I have been concerned that my EAL students will have fewer opportunities to practice speaking English while they are at home.

One answer is to encourage them to perfect tongue twisters.  I heard about it from an article and thought it sounded a fun way to help them to continue speaking English.

I have chosen some fairly well known tongue twisters and set them for students to learn.  I have already had feedback that the children in my school are finding them fun, but challenging.  Unfortunately, my system doesn’t allow students to record how they are doing, but I can send over audio files to demonstrate!

I know that this will become a staple and we may even start creating our own.

The ones I have used so far are:

#1. She Sells
She sells sea shells by the seashore
And the shells that she sells are sea shells for sure.

#2. Peter Piper
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?

#3. I Scream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

#4. If a Dog
If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?

#5. Betty Botter
Betty Botter bought a bit of butter but the bit of butter was too bitter,
so Betty bought a better bit of butter to make the bitter butter better.

The meaning is sometimes easy to understand, sometime not, but that’s not really the point. The challenge is to develop fluency.  It’s a good way of continuing to help them learn but also to have fun.

If you have an activity that you would like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Posts should be no more than 500 words and should describe one activity (if you’d like to write more than one post on different activities do feel free). Send your post to or submit it through the website here. is a publication of NALDIC, the subject association for EAL. Visit to become a member.