Teach English in GAojiA Zhen - Chongqing

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Pronunciation Problems in SpainTeaching English in spain, especially teaching low-level students, is a challenging experience. Spanish and English come from the same origin; thus, in terms of grammar, Spanish is not so different from English. Both languages have three tenses; present, past and future, and both languages require a great understanding of subject and verb agreement as well as the verb changes; the irregular verbs. Hence, how can pronunciation be a major problem for the Spanish? Even though Spanish has got almost the same alphabets as English, Spanish alphabets are pronounced the same as how they are written, with the exception of some specific alphabets such as ll (pronounced as y), ñ (pronounced as ny), j (pronounced as h) or h, which is normally not pronounced when it is the initial letter of a word. The most common pronunciation problem in spain is the difficulty in pronouncing vowels, such as e and a. Spanish e and English e are equal, only that Spanish e is merely pronounced as [e], while English e can be pronounced as [e] in elephant, or [?] in meringue, or even [i:] in metre. Therefore, when Spanish people pronounce metre [mi:t?r], they likely pronounce it [meter], without any sound changes in e. The word bank [bænk] for instance, will be pronounced as [ba?] and machine [m??i:n] will be pronounced as [mas?n] or [mac?n]. Not only do Spanish people have difficulties in pronouncing the vowels, but they also struggle in pronouncing the last consonant in a word. In some Spanish regions, the people are accustomed to omitting the last consonant in every word, especially consonants s and n. This habit is continuously kept when they learn English. Therefore, when they try to pronounce falcon [f?:lk?n], they will likely say [falko] or even [falko?]. Another typical problem is the difficulty in pronouncing s [s] when it is the initial letter of a word. In a word snake, for instance, Spanish people tend to pronounce it [esnek] or [esne?k] rather than [sne?k]. An additional e always follows the s, making the word sounds irritating to hear. Since Spanish words are pronounced exactly as they are written, Spanish people seem to carry on this habit when they are pronouncing English words. Instead of pronouncing the words correctly in the English manner, they will merely pronounce the words as how they read them. For example, most of them will say [jou] in you, instead of [ju:], [wra?t] in write, or [w?ndow] in window. Those reasons above are the reasons why teaching English in spain is somewhat challenging, especially when teachers begin to teach pronunciation. Spanish people need many repetition and drilling exercises so that they are accustomed to pronouncing different sounds. It is also essential to teach basic phonetic transcription to make them aware of the sound changes in English words. However, teacher should not expose teaching pronunciation too much in class, but rather combine it with other exercises as well. Spending 5 minutes every lesson to focus on pronunciation is considered enough to make them familiar with wide variety of English pronunciation.