In English we have 5 vowels orthographically(in spelling), but phonetically(in terms of speech sounds) there are 14 different vowel sounds! Spanish only has 5 vowel sounds! This can make it rather difficult for Spanish speakers to pronounce English words. For English speakers learning Spanish, this means that we have to narrow down our vowel pronunciations.
When it comes to pronunciation, I always tell my students to practice their vowel pronunciation in Spanish:
a-e-i-o-u is pronounced, in Spanish, "ah"-"ay"-"ee"-"oh"-"oo"
The good news is that these vowels never change in Spanish pronunciation. Once you get those down, you can pronounce any Spanish word with confidence.
I am a middle school Spanish teacher teaching an advanced IB prep course, and I know Spanish seems challenging for kids. Would you like some online lessons perhaps via Skype? I am busy at school all day but can work with you after school.
I will be moving to northwest Dallas, TX in a few months so tutoring will be my only job for the first few months.
Would love to hear from you!
I am a Spanish Native speaking person, I've being teaching since 1986, first English as a second Language and now Spanish as a second language.
Learning Spanish is fun. Spanish is a very versatile language, it is known to be a Roman Language, means it has it's roots from Latin. Did you know that English and Spanish have the same roots? And even though their grammar structure and the pronunciation of the words are different, they have many, many similarities. Languages evolved just like humans do and in every country you will find so many differences that it doesn't matter if you speak Spanish in Spain, you are going to see that Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela are so different that you might want them to speak to you slowly.
A language has not only the grammar structure, spelling, pronunciation, but it has so many modals and expressions that are so different from one an other. That is what makes Spanish so versatile.
It is not like...
Today one of my Spanish students was learning vocabulary related to personal appearance (hair and eye color, height, etc) and had previously learned professions, so to practice all of this vocabulary, we played a couple rounds of 20 questions. We alternated who was thinking of the person and who was guessing so that she could practice both speaking and listening as well as practice her question words! She really enjoyed this, and I have used this method in the past with students which was very successful. It's a fun way to practice a variety of vocabulary and use imagination.
One reason is because Spanish is one of the main languages that English is based on. In point of fact about 70% of the words in the English language are Spanish. For this reason, Spanish is easy to learn. For example, the lasso is a Spanish word for a rope which is used to catch animals such as cattle. Some words like "incredible" are the same in English as they are in Spanish and they mean the same too. Others such as "importante" are almost the same in Spelling with the exception that you add an "e" to the end and the meaning is exactly the same as in English. There are also words that the Spanish have adapted from the English language such as Fax and cassette. While it is true that the verb endings can be a pain to figure out, eventually you see the patterns in them and they become easier too. Also the verb endings do all the work for you in a sentence because they tell you the subject in the verb ending. For example, "Camina a la tienda...
Many of my students dread conjugating verbs. They dread it even more when the verbs are irregular and have the same meaning!! The verbs
ser and estar both mean
"to be", so what is the difference between the two?? Ser is used to describe things that are permanent or often unchangeable. For example, Yo soy de Estados Unidos.(I am from the United States). The form of ser used in the sentence is soy. You can not change where you are from. Ser is also used to describe characteristics, professions, religions and nationalities.
Estar is used to describe things that are temporary. For example,
Yo estoy en Florida para las vacaciones(I am in Florida for vacation).
I am vacationing in Florida, but I am not from there. There is a little rhyme that is printed in the textbook,
Realidades, which helps you remember when to use the verb, estar. The rhyme goes,
For how you...