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Teaching Spanish pronunciation
Teaching Spanish pronunciation

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Week 3 Stress, rhythm and intonation


This week you will learn about the suprasegmental or prosodic features of speech and you will find out about the most important differences between Spanish and English prosody. Suprasegmental features are phonetic characteristics that apply to groups that are larger than a single segment, for example speech features that apply to a syllable, a word, a phrase or even a whole utterance. These are typically stress, tone, rhythm and intonation. As teachers of Spanish, we would like our students to have an understanding of these prosodic features and their functions too and not to limit their interest and knowledge to word meaning only. Students can start recognising and practicing the intonation patterns and rhythm of Spanish very early in their studies with little actual knowledge of the language.

By the end of this week you will have:

  • developed an understanding of the importance of prosody in L2/FL acquisition
  • considered the differences between stress, rhythm and intonation in Spanish and English
  • reflected on your own practice and the most challenging points for your students.