Teach English in GAoming Zhen - Nantong Shi

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As with any individual learning a new language, no matter the age, level or nationality, there will always be challenges in the learning process. Spain is a Spanish-speaking country in Europe’s Southwest region. According to an online article by Seriously Spain, 65% of the population of Spain do not speak English. This means there are opportunities to teach in English in Spain to help over half the population learn and improve their language skills. English and Spanish fortunately have some strong similarities in vocabulary that might alleviate word memorization, however this has its advantages and its advantages. The meanings of the words and different ways they are pronounced can confuse a Spanish speaker. There are some common challenges a teacher may expect from Spaniards in their learning process. From a verb standpoint, some similar words are “bicycle” vs. Spanish “bicicleta” or “college” vs. “colegio”. There are some words however that take on different meanings such as “exit” vs. “éxito”. These verbs represent two totally different meanings, as in Spanish it refers to success. Pronunciation can also be tricky for Spanish speakers learning English. In Spanish, words are pronounced quite literal as to how they are spelled. In English when two letters are combined, it often can cause confusion to Spanish speakers. For example, the pronunciation of the letter combination “th”. Many Spanish speaking English students have a hard time pronouncing that sound, as it does not exist in Spanish. A good way to explain this to them if you are teaching this to Spain Spanish speakers, is it creates the same sound as the sound they make when they pronounce words with the letter “c” with a vowel following, or the letter “z”. There are also a lot of silent letters in English such as silent ‘e’ ‘s or ‘t’ ‘s. A tricky word for example, would be the word “receipt”, many Spanish speakers pronounce the T at the end. Spanish speakers also find difficulty in the pronunciation of words beginning with “s”. For example, they may say “strategy” as opposed to “strategy”. All of these common challenges can all be improved with a good teacher and practice. In the English language, there are 12 vowels and eight diphthongs, whereas in Spanish there are only five of each. When vowels like “ou” or “ea” combine in a word, it creates a sound different from what an English learner from Spain may perceive. A good example is the word “beat”. It is hard to understand and remember that when those letters combine it creates a sound similar to the Spanish “i” vowel. Therefore they may confuse words like“bit” and “beat”. When dealing with barriers like this, it would be important as a teacher to spend time in the Study phase of a lesson plan. No one will be perfect, and an accent will be inevitable, but it is important to educate students on what is the correct pronunciation. Elicitation, drilling exercises, gap fills, tongue twisters and crossword puzzles are great tools to guide students through the study phase to improve pronunciation. All while keeping the lesson student-centered, interesting, and fun!