Department   Kyoto University of Foreign Studies  Department of Hispanic Studies, Faculty of Foreign Studies
   Position   Associate Professor
Date 2018/09/19
Presentation Theme Teaching Spanish Pronunciation to Japanese Students in Communication Classes
Conference 2nd International Symposium on Applied Phonetics ISAPh2018
Promoters International Symposium on Applied Phonetics (ISAPh)
Conference Type International
Presentation Type Speech (General)
Contribution Type Collaborative
Country Japan
Venue Aizu University
Publisher and common publisher *Takuya Kimura, *Gisele Fernández Lázaro, *María Fernández Alonso
Details Spanish pronunciation has long been erroneously believed to be very easy for Japanese people, but at the same time a number of difficulties have been pointed out by specialists. The pronunciation mistakes Japanese students frequently make can be listed as follows:
A. Segmental mistakes
(1) Mispronunciation of the trill [r]. (2) Mispronunciation of and confusion between the lateral [l] and the flap [ɾ]. (3) /si/ pronounced [ʃi], (4) /u/ pronounced as an unrounded vowel [ɯ], (5) /ti/ and /tu/ pronounced [tʃi] and [tsɯ], respectively, (6) Confusion between /f/ and /θ/, and (7) Confusion between /f/ and /x/.
B. Prosodic mistakes
(8) Stressed pronunciation of unstressed words, (9) Failure to produce the interrogative intonation, (10) Failure to produce the exclamative intonation, (11) Failures in syllabication and stress assignment, (12) Confusion between diphthongs and hiatus, (13) Failure to pronounce consonant clusters, (14) Failure to stress properly the adverbs ending in –mente, and (15) Failure to insert adequate pauses in the utterance. We will present our correction method, which makes it possible to integrate pronunciation teaching into usual class development, providing the teachers with relevant information about the cause of the error as well as concrete activities for its correction.
We put this method into practice with a group of 12 Japanese university students, teaching them the points (2), (4), (7), (8), (9) and (10) listed in the previous section. For example, in the section on /f/:/x/ distinction, the students work in pairs, one reads sentences such as: Ceferino está feliz con su café. “Ceferino is happy with his coffee.” or Jerez está lejos de Algeciras. “Jerez is far from Algeciras.”, and then the other answers how many times he/she heard /f/ and /x/.
The t test applied to the results of the pre-test and the post-test shows that the students made a statistically significant progress (p < 0.05) in almost all the items, the only exception being the auditory distinction between /l/ and /ɾ/, in which the difference was only marginally significant (p = 0.08).