Pronunciation is something that everybody wants to improve when learning a language. While having a perfect and native-sounding accent is not at all essential in order to communicate fluently in a language, having clear and accurate pronunciation can definitely help us to be understood and can also give us the confidence we need to progress in a language. Here I will discuss the ways in which you can ensure your Spanish pronunciation is at its best.
1.) Listen to native speakers
This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to go and live in the country where the language is spoken, nor does it mean that if you don’t have native friends that you should give up. Listening to native speakers simply means spending as much time as possible listening to natives through means of radio, podcasts, television series, films, talks – you name it! If it requires you to sit down and soak up native accents, whatever the setting, it’ll do the job!
2.) Speak to someone who will correct you
Conversation, conversation and conversation – this is, after all, the most important component of learning a language. If you can attain a balance of absorbing native accents through listening exercises and then practicing with at least near-native speakers who will correct you, you will see an improvement in your accent in no time.
3.) Study the rules and put them into practice
Spanish pronunciation is relatively easy in comparison to many languages. By this I mean that as it is a phonetic language, if you learn the sound of each letter, the pronunciation just falls into place. There are few letters or letter combinations that cause difficulties for English speakers and the pronunciation rules are reasonably straightforward. Therefore, if you make sure you know the rules well and practice reading out loud, you will find yourself naturally using these rules when you speak spontaneously in the language.
4.) Immerse yourself
If your aim is to have a natural and native sounding accent, so that you could be mistaken for a Spaniard, Uruguayan or Mexican, your best bet is to immerse yourself entirely in this accent. Get yourself out there for a few months and mix with the locals. Or else, create a native-like environment in your home, where everything you listen to, everyone you speak to, and everything you read is in this country-specific Spanish accent.
So there you have it – some guidelines that will hopefully allow you to improve your Spanish accent. Don’t be afraid to tell your tutor if you are struggling with pronunciation or if you feel that it is an area in which you would like to see an improvement. Our tutors are always delighted to be able to provide tailor-made courses to fit with your needs and desires.