How to Help Learners to Improve their English Pronunciation. What Rioplatense Spanish Speaking EFL Teachers Need to Know.


  • Maria Alicia Maldonado



Phonetics, Phonology, ELT, Spanish, English


We cannot deny the need for teaching pronunciation in EFL courses. Still, there is much discussion as regards whether to include phonetics and phonology in the EFL primary and secondary classrooms. The issue seems to be not whether to teach pronunciation, or what to teach, but rather how to teach it.

From my teaching experience of over 40 years, I can claim that teachers need to have the expertise in the subject and the methodology knowledge that enable them to choose adequate strategies. This implies having knowledge of the phonological systems of both their L1 (in this case, Rioplatense Spanish) and the English accent they are expected to teach, together with the skills to activate in learners “new ways of thinking about or conceptualizing words and sentences in the new language” (Fraser 1999: 5).

In this work I will compare both phonological systems and comment on some useful strategies that can be implemented to help students develop phonological concepts that can foster improvement of their English pronunciation.


Brazil, D. 1994. Pronunciation for Advanced Learners of English. Teacher’s Book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brazil, D. 1994. Pronunciation for Advanced Learners of English. Student’s Book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Collins, B. and I. Mees. 2008. Practical Phonetics and Phonology. A resource book for students. 2nd edition. Abingdon: Routledge.

Cruttenden, A. 2001. Gimson’s Pronunciation of English. 6th revised edition. London: Arnold.

Escudero, P. and P. Boersma. 2004. Bridging the gap between L2 speech perception research and phonological theory. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 26, 551–585. Finch, D. and H. Ortiz Lira. 1982. A Course in English Phonetics for Spanish Speakers. London: Heinemann.

Fraser, H. 1999. ESL Pronunciation Teaching: Could it be more effective? [Internet]. Available at: [08.10.2015].

Fraser, H. 2006. Helping teachers help students with pronunciation: A cognitive approach. Australia: University of New England. [Internet]. Available at: http://www. [08.12.2015].

Fraser, H. 2008. Cognitive Theory as a Tool for Teaching Pronunciation. University of New England. Australia. [Internet]. Available at: downloadliste/articles/cognitive-theory-as-a-tool-for-teaching-pronunciation. html?file=tl_files/laud/A728_Fraser_komplett.pdf [08.08.2015]. Español Rioplatense. [Internet]. Available at: hispanoamerica/18089-espanol-rioplatense.html [07.12. 2017].

Kelly, G. 2003. How to Teach Pronunciation. Harlow: Longman.

Kenworthy, J. 1988. Teaching English Pronunciation. Harlow: Longman.

Recaman, M. 1979. A comparative study of the phonological structures of English and Spanish. Unpublished manuscript.

Roach, P. 2005. English Phonetics and Phonology. A practical course. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Underhill, A. 1994. Sound Foundations. Oxford: Heinemann.

Wells, J. 1982. Accents of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wells, J. 2006. English Intonation: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




How to Cite

Maldonado, M. A. (2021). How to Help Learners to Improve their English Pronunciation. What Rioplatense Spanish Speaking EFL Teachers Need to Know. Philologia, 16(1), 85–98.



Nauka o jeziku/Linguistics