Contrastive Analysis and the Multimodal Approach
Contrastive Analysis helps us compare the phonological features of English and Spanish. Studies have shown that the Contrastive Approach to sound production is highly effective. As a result, students will be conscious of the similarities and differences between the two sound systems, and of the fact that some difficult sounds in Spanish do exist in English, but are represented graphically in a different fashion. For example, in American English, “dd” and “tt” correspond exactly to the Spanish “r,” which is a very challenging sound for many English speakers to produce.
The Multimodal Approach entails the use of a variety of presentational modes in order to address different learning styles: (a) aural (listening to passages with student attention focused on specific sounds); (b) oral (repetition exercises); (c) visual (use of facial diagrams for production of sounds); (d) teaching of point, place, and manner of articulation of sounds. The program will instruct students to record and listen to their own speech. For this self-analysis activity students will use guidelines that will encourage them to focus on the production and critique of specific sounds. Students will be instructed to record themselves periodically to assess their improvement.
NOTE: In order to simplify matters, standard Latin American pronunciation will be used: that of an educated person from Mexico City, Bogotá, La Paz or Lima, among others. However, the most salient features of the pronunciation of Spain will also be explained.