Weekly Tip & Optional Homework Week of 5/26 for week of 6/2/14

Weekly Tip:

Goal written by one of PBO’s Students: “Tener un major acento.”


A few tips to improve your pronunciation:

–      Learn to imitate the vowel sounds. In English they’re very long and in Spanish they’re very short. If you learn to pronounce the vowels correctly, you will sound 75% better.

–      Once you’ve mastered the vowels work on the consonants that are very different. For example, remember not to pronounce the “h” – and remember that the “z” in Spanish sounds exactly like an “s” (or like “th” in Spain).

–      Pay attention to where the stress goes on a word and whether it has an accent or not. Words that end in an N, S or vowel have the stress on the 2nd to last syllable: JUgo, PAran. Words that end in any other letter have the stress on the last syllable: paRED, coMER. And words with an accent mark have the stress on that syllable: alGÚN, CÁNcer.

–      Sing. This is a proven method for improving your accent.

–      Listen with your eyes closed. So often when someone is speaking to us in a foreign language, we’re staring at them as if the words are suddenly going to appear on their forehead. What helps you develop your ear is to truly listen and not try to see the words, instead try to really hear them.

–      Another option is to work with a pronunciation coach, one-on-one. The oh-so fabulous PBO teacher Laura 🙂 studied linguistics with a focus on phonetics and phonology when alternating from English to Spanish and vice versa. If you’re interested in taking private pronunciation lessons with an expert you can e-mail her at laurak.pbo@gmail.com.


Optional Homework

TUE – WED – THU classes

The optional homework is to check out the site http://spanishobsessed.com/. Next week you can tell us what you though of it.

For those of you that want more homework: Spend 15-30 minutes every day checking out what the site has to offer.

MON – FRI – SAT classes

The optional homework is to bring 2 current events topics to class next week. The topics can be about any type of news…politics, gossip, sports, science, local, foreign, serious, silly, whatever you want, as long as it’s news. You will be asked to share about your topic en español of course, so be ready! And no reading the article to your class…be ready to TALK about it 🙂

A few news sites in case you don’t know of any:






For those of you that want more homework: Read 5 news articles in Spanish this week.

PS I recommend reading the article in Spanish and looking up vocabulary you don’t know, rather than translating news from English. Believe it or not, it will be easier and you will learn more.