How do I pronounce Spanish to be understood?
The good thing about Spanish is that there are not many pronunciation rules, however, the existing ones can be challenging.
If you are completely new to Spanish the first step you should take is to learn Spanish sounds rather than learning the whole alphabet. At the end of the day oral communication is a handful of sounds that can be mixed into unlimited forms. Therefore, learning the alphabet only in terms of letters is ineffective if you want to achieve effective oral ability. The Spanish alphabet only differs from English with only the letter “ñ", which pronunciation is similar to the English “ny” like in “canyon” or the well known Spanish word “jalapeño”.
There is a big difference in the sounds of both languages so by knowing the sounds you will master what it is really important when speaking Spanish, which is to be understood and to understand locals when speaking. For instance, although the Spanish and English alphabet are almost exactly alike, the number of vowels hugely differ from English to Spanish, which can’t be found in the standard alphabet only in the international phonetic alphabet (IPA).
"La Vida Loca" Series: Introduction
In my first years of teaching I came across with many students around the globe who wanted to learn Spanish at a basic level in order to communicate when travelling and living in a Spanish speaking country. One day, while browsing for extra materials and tools, I found a very interesting series created by the BBC and I felt that it was a perfect supporting tool for some of my students to follow after class. The series was a bunch of short videos that followed a story-line and also included grammar explanations and further interactive activities that helped students and supported teachers work.
As part of my first steps as a teacher, I've always felt attached to the time where students used to share with me their insights after watching an episode so I got a bit upset when I discovered that the BBC had archived the page where the series could be watched and the course was not longer available. However, I knew that the lessons were extremely useful and I didn’t want the videos just to be forgotten so I decided to rescue and use them to help many of my students today.
Learning to know what is important when learning Spanish (or any language)
We live in a world where we can find Spanish speakers around the globe as it is a language spoken in several countries, not to mention that it’s the second most spoken language on the planet after Chinese and before English. Inside each Spanish speaking country we can find a variety of accents, linguistic and cultural diversity which divergence is even bigger when crossing borders. This invaluable source of linguistic richness brings many headaches to Spanish learners as some people may think that these differences are inscrutable unless you learn a particular spoken Spanish from a specific region
2 Important Considerations to be Successful
At the beginning of learning a new language we all are extremely motivated and excited, however, our first enthusiasm can easily disappear resulting in an abandonment of our goal's pursuit if we don't take into account certain considerations.
To avoid giving up, the first advise I would give to anyone who is serious about learning a new language it would be to start approaching that language, for instance Spanish, by keeping in mind your goals, which will help you to also understand what you need to learn in a practical way.
What is the Common European Framework of Reference?
Nowadays, the majority of updated teaching proposals are based on the CEFR. In addition, the DELE exam is based on the CEFR, but...
I'm a Spanish and English philologist specialised in Spanish linguistics and in teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) as I love sharing my language, my culture and a particular vision of the world with people from around the globe, getting to know more about the world itself through them and languages.