Rabbit in a Hat

Levels: 
A2 upwards
Teaching point: 
Connected speech, /h/ /r/ minimal pairs
Theme: 
Identifying animals
Activity: 
Chanting
Rabbit in a Hat - hancockmcdonald.com/materials/rabbit-hat

This rap is great for practising connected speech. Consonant to vowel links are indicated, plus one vowel to vowel link. You will also see that there are a number of /r/ /h/ minimal pairs in the rap: rat-hat, rabbit-habbit, red-head. There’s also hiding, which would be a minimal pair with riding. These pairs will be especially tricky for speakers of Brazilian Portuguese, where and initial /r/ tends to be pronounced as an /h/.

The /r/ is a very variable sound across different languages accents. It may be made with the tongue tip curled back (USA) or trilled (Scotland, Spain), or with the back of the tongue against the soft palate (France), or as we have seen, like an /h/ (Brazil).

The /h/ is also quite a vulnerable sound, often being cut (Italy, Wales) or replaced by a guttural sound, like a /k/ which is not fully closed (Spain).

The bolded syllables in the rap show where the beat falls. The underlined words are where there is contrastive stress.

Have fun!

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