Speaking Assignments For Developing a Natural Accent in Spanish

Mar Clavijo

Students often feel self-conscious about their accent and this discourages them from speaking in the target language.Nevertheless, you can get them develop confidence at home first by practicing a little bit everyday! Keep reading to find out how.

Native Language accent VS. Target Language accent

Throughout our teaching experience as Spanish teachers or tutors, we have met students from multiple backgrounds. They are mostly English native speakers, but a considerable amount of them have a different native language. For instance: Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese or French. Regardless of the case, developing a natural accent when acquiring a new language is both an auditory and a pronunciation challenge, but doable!

As a result of hearing those around us as we acquired our mother tongue, we all have an accent by nature. Moreover, it was fed throughout childhood, when attending to school, playing with friends or spending time with family. In terms of accent development, movies, cartoons, radio and T.V also played an important role. As can be seen, it is a social construction which nowadays is even part of our identity as adults. This is also the case for our students, of course. However, having a strong accent can either make them feel insecure, or lead them to get demotivated when it comes to speaking in the target language.Increasingly developing a natural accent, specially when native one makes it difficult to communicate in Spanish, it's what we should be pursuing. As Spanish teachers or tutors, we are well aware of the great variety of accents this single language has. But this is precisely why we got to approach standard Spanish accent, since a large majority around the world can refer to it.

How to help students developing a standard accent in Spanish?

By helping them identify 3 most common possibilities of stress location in Spanish words through their listening skills first. Then we can talk about tildes and how to pronounce words whether they have them or not. As has been noted, pronunciation is related to accent development. The more students improve pronunciation, the more they develop a much more natural accent in Spanish.

Links to Lesson Plan and Speaking Assignments

There's no need to rush! Take all the time you and your students need to go through these free resources. Let's make the most out of them!

Tildes & Stress Lesson plan (22 Slides)

Canva Slides

Share these Speaking Assignments links with your students!

Stress & MeaningTildes on all Vowels

Stress on the last syllable

Stress on the second to last syllableStress on the third to last syllable

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