How to improve pronunciation?

Cecilia Mejia

Teaching the Spanish language is not only based on theory, which can be quite tiring and sometimes boringwhen applied in the classroom. This is why teachers need to think, on a daily basis, about the activities they are going to apply in their class in order to improve their students’ learning experience.

These days, a lot of appealing game and play-based activities are being used in classrooms. They can be applied to practice the language or to consolidate already acquired knowledge. Others are used to perfect a specific skill the student has already obtained. Within this framework, we propose two really fun activities for your classes!

One way to improve pronunciation is through music. Everyone knows that music offers an enjoyable experience for the student. Through its use, the student not only improves their pronunciation, but also learns new vocabulary and grammar, and practices the four basic skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading). Using songs in the classroom is very fun, because it generates a joyful and dynamic environmentfor both the students and the teacher. There are songs for each language level; for example, at the beginner level, for irregular verbs, you can use the Julieta Venegas song, “Limón y Sal” (“Lemon and Salt”); for the verb “to like” “Me gustas tú.” (“I like you.”) by Manu Chao. For intermediate and advanced levels, you can use the song “Grita” (“Shout”) by Jarabe de Palo or “Flaca” (“Skinny girl”) by Andres Calamaro, to practice affirmative and negative forms of the imperative; and for subjunctive, Rosana’s song “Pa tí no estoy.” (“I’m not here for you”).

Approximately 21 countries in the world have Spanish as their official language. One of the best ways of getting to know each of these countries is through their music, since it not only helps you learn more about the culture, but also makes you feel as if you were there.

Another activity that really helps students improve their pronunciation are tongue-twisters. They are usually a little difficult to pronounce, because it is a group of words with the same sound and they generally “twist” the tongue of the person that wants to pronounce them.

Sentences like “Papá, pon pan para Pepín.” (“Dad, put out bread for Pepin.”) or “Rosa Rosales cortó una rosa ¡que roja la rosa de Rosa Rosales!”“Rosa Rosales cut a rose. Look how red Rosa Rosales’ rose is!” are difficult for students to pronounce, but with practice and motivation this can be a fun and productive activity for the classroom and canalso help improve pronunciation and intonation of the language.

In conclusion, it is of vital importance for teachers to apply new materials in the classroom. Thanks to technology, teachers can always be up to date in applying new activities at all levels. Music and tongue-twisters are activities that can be used for group and individual classes and even for online classes. They are very entertaining. 

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Teaching the Spanish language / classroom / teachers need / improve pronunciation / language