Teaching Spanish Pronunciation


1. Why teach pronunciation?

We start the week by thinking about why we teach pronunciation and what pronunciation to teach. You will also familiarise yourself with the main features of pronunciation. You will be asked to reflect on concepts such as intelligibility, fluency, foreign accent, language variation, articulation and acoustics. 

By the end of this week you will have:

considered the differences between intelligibility and foreign accent;

reflected on your own practice and the most challenging points for your students.


It can hardly be denied that languages differ from one another in areas such as vocabulary, grammar, word order, etc. Pronunciation is no exception. English and Spanish share a common ancestry and, as a result, have a number of grammatical features in common. They also share a considerable amount of vocabulary. Nevertheless, their pronunciation is rather different. 

When a language is learnt, educators address differences to make sure students acquire competence in the various characteristics of the target language. However, not all aspects tend to receive the same attention from scholars and teachers. While vocabulary and grammar, to mention two of the most substantial areas, receive considerable attention and become important foci in the process of teaching and learning a language, pronunciation is somehow side-lined and treated as an extra ingredient. Many Foreign Language (FL) teaching materials do not include the systematic teaching of pronunciation.

It is the intention of this course to provide professionals with a range of reflective tools to better understand how to address different situations linked to the divergences between the phonetic and phonological systems of English and Spanish. We aim to help Spanish language teachers teach the prosodic and segmental characteristics of Spanish to learners whose mother tongue is British English. We pay special attention to those elements of pronunciation that British English speakers find most challenging. The materials are complemented by ideas for activities.


Make a list of the reasons that you think make teaching languages worthwhile.