A2Z School of English is the most vibrant, international language school in the heart of Manchester. They have a wide range of different courses, times and prices to suit anyone needs.
I´ve been a student there myself and loved it. Great classes, teachers and classmates. But it´s not only that, as A2Z has one of the busiest social schedule in Manchester, from bowling to walks around the city.
Paul Knowles is the Internet Marketing Manager for A2Z and he´s been an English teacher himself for over 10 years, apparently he has had MANY Spanish students during these years (I don´t know how, I haven´t seen a Spanish person around Manchester for months!).
He´s sharing here in Funny English his thoughts about our highs and lows in the English learning process.
You can check more A2Z articles here! http://a2z-english.com/blogs
I have been a teacher of English for about 10 years and because for most of that time I have taught in the UK most of my students have been Spanish.
Thus, I feel qualified to talk about the joys and frustrations of teaching Spanish speakers the English language.
Spanish students are great to teach. They are generally chatty, opinionated and full of fun. However, they have specific problems in learning English which can be trying for both the student and the teacher.
The Spanish Accent is here to stay
Spanish learners of English will never lose their accent. Fact. End of. It is impossible so just don’t try. No matter how advanced a Spanish student I have taught the Spanish accent sticks like super glue. And this is not a bad thing. Every English speaker around the world and in the UK has an accent. It just tells people where you are from. Even if your accent is very strong it doesn’t mean people cannot understand you if you use the correct word stress.
There is no E in Spain…really there is no E in Spain.
Every Spanish student I have ever taught puts an “E” in front of Spain.
In fact Spanish people seem to like putting vowels in front of every word.
‘Hello, where are you from?’ ‘I am a-from e-Spain’
No matter how many times I have tried to stop Spanish students doing this it always will happen but it always drove me bananas!
To speak English clearly you must perfect the art of mumbling
Spanish and other Latin based languages pronounce every part of every word. The English though push words together to make them shorter and more concise. Also, we add sounds between words for no apparent reason. To the Spaniard this sounds like mumbling. To English people this is clear pronunciation.
Don’t say ‘A blue apple’ but ‘A blue wapple’ . You might read ‘It must have been a long day’. But you say ‘It mustov been a long day’. Don’t ask ‘How are you doing? But ‘ Howyadowing? ‘ If in doubt make it into one word and omit as much as possible.
To be or to have? That is the question.
This is something Spanish beginner students always do and more advanced learners still do very occasionally.
“I have 23 years old” or “I have hunger”
Language structures are about concepts and here is way English and Spanish concepts differ. Is age and hunger a state (English) or a possession (Spanish)?
I could continue ad infinity (false friends, phrasal verbs, invented words) but these are the most memorable and common mistakes and problems Spanish students have. But please check below for some great links to help you iron out (fix) your English language problems.
ted.power/l1spanish.html - pronunciation help
langdiff/spanish.htm - difference between English and Spanish
espanglishtips/- a whole load of help and advice for Spanish speakers.