Students in Sara Krapohl’s Spanish 1 class are learning how to pronounce vocabulary terms in Spanish. Proper pronunciation is the key to acquiring a new world language because even though words may look similar, they can be pronounced very differently in the target language.
In Spanish, there are 27 consonant and 5 vowel sounds. Of these, 18 are equivalent to English but 9 consonant sounds are markedly different; the vowel sounds stay constant in Spanish.
In this introductory lesson on just the third day of class, students are trying to sound out words that Maestra Krapohl has put up on the interactive whiteboard. Each word is broken down into its constituent parts with the familiar and new sounds and then put together as the word would be spoken by a native speaker.
The students are doing a great job memorizing the special cases — how is “ll” pronounced at the beginning of a word? is “qu” always pronounced as “k”? what about the rolled “r” sound? how about the “c” before an “i”? — and are working through the lesson with admirable speed and accuracy.