… to I’M ALL EARS!
I’M ALL EARS is a Spanish pronunciation course for teachers and students of Spanish created to facilitate the important task of teaching and learning correct pronunciation from day one. Pronunciation that is acceptable and appropriate to native speakers of a language, is a key element in attaining full fluency in a foreign language. However, the systematic teaching of correct pronunciation is not usually part of the Spanish curriculum. Additionally, sections on pronunciation are often absent from textbooks.
This course provides the necessary theoretical and practical tools for teachers to learn how to teach this skill. Conversely, students will find self-teaching tools that can be used independently. This creates a high degree of flexibility: while any student can use the program without the supervision of a teacher, in the classroom context, instructors can use it in class or assign activities for students to complete at home.
It is of paramount importance to teach/learn pronunciation systematically for several reasons. The most obvious reason is that deficient pronunciation will hinder the speaker from being understood by native speakers. Also, early exposure to pronunciation will avoid fossilization, that is to say, the process in which incorrect phonological features become a permanent way in which a person speaks. Lastly, feeling like a competent speaker will give a person satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.
This course will focus first on segmental issues, i.e. features related to individual sounds or phonemes. We will then proceed to focus on suprasegmental or prosodic issues, i.e. speech features such as stress, rhythm, intonation, and word juncture, which refer, not to individual sounds, but to syllables, words, and phrases.
The methodology used in all course modules will be the Contrastive Method, which compares the phonological features of English and Spanish. Further, a Multimodal Approach will be used. Please find more detailed information about this topic in the next section.