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C.B. & S.M. Spain said:
Problems for learners in spain According to our professional experience, here are some difficulties that Spanish learners of English are likely to encounter during their learning process. Spanish speakers frequently have problems with pronunciation because of the differences between the two languages? sound systems; English has 12 vowels and 8 diphthongs while Spanish has only 5 of each. Therefore, Spanish learners often have difficulty with distinguishing between words like ?treat? and ?trip?. They also confuse the consonants ?v? and ?b? as in ?voice? with the sound of ?boat? and the ?s? as in ?sauce? with the sound of ?z? as in ?zoo?. Furthermore, since Spanish always has an ?e? before ?s? in word beginnings, they find an initial ?s? difficult to pronounce and tend to add an ?e? sound, which makes words like ?school? into ?eschool?. Besides, students from southern spain particularly mistake the sound ?sh? for ?ch?, both of which are nearly similar in their regional language. This fact makes words like ?chair? sound as in ?share?. In addition to this, the ?r? which sounds so lightly in English contrasts with the strong Spanish ?r? sound. On the other hand, there are a lot of similar words in Spanish and English which often confuse Spanish students owing to their false cognates. These pairs sound alike but have different meanings in each language. For example: ?assist? with ?asistir? (it means to attend in Spanish); ?exit? with ?éxito? (it means success in Spanish); ?library? with ?librería? (it means book shop in Spanish); ?actually? with ?actualmente? (it means at the moment in Spanish), etc. As English grammar is rather different from the Spanish grammatical system, students often leave out subject pronouns from their English sentences because a complete Spanish sentence doesn?t always need a subject as well as they often change the required subject-verb-object order of English structure into the Spanish word order. Negatives and questions present difficulties as well, since Spanish negative and interrogative forms don?t require auxiliary verbs to be formed. Another problem for Spanish learners is using the correct genre for third singular person possessive adjectives since Spanish can use ?su? for ?his?, ?her? and ?its?. Native Spanish speakers have also trouble with English spelling; the different ways to spell the same sound in English may cause problems when spelling words such as ?tough? and ?fluff?. The large number of vowels and diphthongs prove also troublesome for Spanish learners, who often simplify English clusters of 2 or 3 consonants and get confused by them when spelling double or single letters. Sometimes, they also put exclamation points or question marks at both the beginning and end of the sentences in writing. Moreover, they often use commas to connect independent clauses, resulting in commas splices. English compound verbs (phrasal verbs) are always difficult for Spanish speakers to understand, remember and use them naturally in their conversation. It is true that the more phrasal verbs students are able to use the more natural their speech will sound. We have learnt from this course that they are best learned as vocabulary items or taught repeatedly in various contexts until students start using them naturally for themselves, so this is an invaluable piece of advice that we should always remember when it comes to teach Spanish learners.

 

 

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