Tongue Exercises for Articulation

Mrs Tongue Does Her Housework

Tongue exercises for articulation - these assist clean, clear speech.

Did you know if you have difficulties with enunciation (pronouncing words), it could be a case of lazy tongue? The tongue is primarily muscle and like any other muscle, to keep fit it needs a regular work out!

open mouth revealing tongue

This particular tongue exercise for articulation comes from my mother-in-law. Over her many years (50+) of teaching speech and drama, it remains one of her favorites for assuring crisply pronounced words.

Rather than simply running through the actions she accompanied them with a story she called: "Mrs Tongue Does Her Housework".

The words of the story are in itallics. The instructions or action for each segment is below.

Mrs Tongue Does Her Housework

a child's storybook pink doll's house

Mrs Tongue lives in her house, the mouth.

Every morning she mops it from ceiling to floor.

First she sweeps her mop from right to left.


Run your tongue in a full circle around your cheek walls and across the front of your top and bottom teeth. Repeat 3 times.

Next she sweeps her mop from left to right.


Reverse the direction of the circle. Repeat 3 times.

Now she dusts the furniture.


Sweep your tongue as rapidly as you can from side to side across the upper teeth. Repeat at least 10 times.

Then she shakes out the rug out the window.


Stick the tongue out, extended as far as you can, and move it rapidly up and down. Repeat at least 10 times.

Lastly she sweeps away the cobwebs from around the front door.


Stick the tongue out as far as you can and sweep it from right to left around the outside of your lips. Repeat 3 times, then reverse the direction and repeat 3 times.


If you are working this exercise with a class and they're particularly self-conscious it's a good idea to make a joke out of everybody looking so silly. It's not pretty! However reassuring them that everyone doing it, regardless of who they are, is going to look a little strange will go a long way to ease them. I found doing it myself broke the ice. The teacher poking out her tongue and waving it around was always good for a giggle!

For more diction drills:

You'll find more tongue exercises for articulation on this page of tongue twisters. Choose those that will help you overcome your known pronunciation problems and repeat them daily along with "Mrs Tongue Does Her Housework". If faithfully done, you'll hear improvements quite rapidly.

If you lead a public speaking group and you're always on the look-out for activities to improve confidence and delivery - 

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Other related pages to help with effective speech delivery: