Welcome to Tal Como Suena: Explorando la Pronunciación Española
My name is Gillian Lord, I’m a Spanish linguistics professor in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures. I've designed this series of six individual modules to introduce you to some of the most important aspects of Spanish pronunciation. I think students often want, and need, to learn how to achieve better pronunciation in Spanish, but so often our language classes are so busy that we rarely have time to teach these things.
Each of the six modules focuses on a different and potentially problematic aspect of Spanish, especially for native English speakers. The modules contain a variety of information and tools to help you work your way through each of them. First, I tell you the objectives for each module, and then I go on to explain the main points of the pronunciation feature. I also tell you any important differences between English and Spanish, so that you can understand better what you need to learn and remember when speaking in Spanish. These sections, whenever I’m explaining something, have video as well as text, so that you can read along as you watch the explanation. Also, when we explain how sounds are produced, we provide you with animated diagrams to show you what your mouth and vocal tract are doing to produce those sounds. Often, throughout the explanations, there are audio recordings of native Spanish and English speakers so that you can hear the sounds being pronounced. In these examples, you can click on any example to hear the pronunciation.
As you proceed through each module, you will have to complete a few pages of assessment questions along the way. These assessment questions are included to make sure you understand what you are learning before going on. You will have to answer every assessment question correctly before continuing to the next page, but will be given the opportunity to keep trying until you get all the questions right.
After all the explanations and contrasts with English, there are some audio exercises for you to do. First, you’ll carry out discrimination exercises, which will help you practice your listening and perception skills. Then, you’ll practice your pronunciation with a few words or short phrases. After that, you’ll be given a longer text to read out loud – these texts have been chosen because they contain many examples of the sounds in question in each module. You will record yourself reading these texts and then listen to your recording so you can analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. You can send this assessment to your instructor as well, so she or he can also be aware of your progress.
I hope you enjoy working on these modules and that you find them useful in learning about and improving your pronunciation in Spanish.