About my classes

I teach general English in the usual way and I also teach English pronunciation in a more specific type of class. And, of course, you can combine both in a tailor-made fashion as will suit you best (for example, regular English class with a strong focus on pronunciation problems).

 

General English

In general English class I will teach you everything you need to know about English. We can work on your  grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation in different ways (either through conversation, readings or exercises). We’ll do a lot of listening too, almost always based on natural sources (I have thousands of recordings, as you can guess from this website) and I can give you writing tasks for you to do at home as long as you have the time and are willing to do them (they’re not obligatory). I can prepare you for any kind of exam (First, Advanced, Proficiency, etc.) if that’s what you need. So, basically I customize the structure and goals of the class to suit the needs of the student. The terms and conditions are those explained below in the Pronunciation class section.

 

Pronunciation classes

 

Individual classes

  • Place. At my own home in Argüelles, Madrid, or via Skype.
  • Duration. 1 ½ hour (this is the standard class, but it can be shorter or longer depending on the needs of the student).
  • Required level. Any level, from absolute beginner to English teachers.
  • Rates. 1 hour: 25 €. 1 ½ hour: 35 €. This price includes distance-tutored activities during the week.
  • Between classes. Students are given homework, although the amount of it depends on their availability. I can be reached for doubts by email. Students can also send me recorded exercises which I’ll correct and comment on by email or the next class (up to a reasonable number of them, though).
  • How long will you have to take these classes? The whole syllabus is covered in one academic year, roughly divided into two terms:
    • First term (three-four months). We cover and practice all the English sounds very thoroughly and correct a basic list of typical Spanish mistakes.
    • Second term (three-four months). We reinforce the subjects studied in the first term and cover connected speech, rhythm and intonation in order to improve fluency.
  • Who are these classes intended for? Every person who wants to improve their English pronunciation for whatever reason (teachers who have to teach in English, workers who have to communicate in English, every type of professional who travels or speaks to foreign colleagues and wishes to sound more confident and fluent).
  • What will you achieve? The Nine Goals for English Pronunciation Class are explained below.

 

Workshops

Workshops can be tailor-made to suit the needs of the client. Here is some general information:

  • Place. The working place of the group or my own office in the centre of Madrid.
  • Number of students. Between 4 and 6.
  • Duration. There are two different modules.
    • Initiation workshop. 6 hours of class divided into two or three days. Spanish and English sound systems compared. Raising awareness of the differences between them and how we can solve pronunciation problems.
    • Standard workshop. 24 hours of class (2 classes per week; 1 ½ or 2 hours per class; 1 ½ or 2 months).
      • Level 1. English sounds compared to Spanish. Basic catalogue of typical Spanish pronunciation mistakes.
      • Level 2. Reinforcement level 1 + connected speech. More typical Spanish pronunciation mistakes. Fluency improvement.
      • Level 3. Reinforcement levels 1 and 2 + stress, rhythm and intonation. Fluency enhancement.
  • Required level. intermediate-advanced.
  • Rates.
    • Initiation workshop: 75 € per student.
    • Standard workshop: 200 € per student.
  • Between classes. Students are given homework, although the amount of it depends on their availability. I can be reached for doubts by email. Students can also send me recorded exercises which I’ll correct and comment by email or the next class (up to a reasonable number of them, though).
  • Who are these classes intended for? Every person who wants to improve their English pronunciation for whatever reason (teachers who have to teach in English, workers who have to communicate in English, every type of professional who travels or speaks to foreign colleagues and wishes to sound more confident and fluent).
  • What will you achieve? The Nine Goals for English Pronunciation Class are explained below.

 


Nine Goals for English Pronunciation Class

 

  1. Make yourself understood. Spanish people often have trouble making themselves understood by English speakers (native or not), because the Spanish phonological system is very different from that of English. In my classes I explain how sounds are produced in both languages. We compare them and analyze differences and similarities, and this allows students to correct what they are doing wrong and improve their speaking skills. The result is that other English speakers, from any part of the world, understand what they say more easily because their English becomes more real, closer to the standard type of English which is universally spoken.
  2. Improve your listening skills. This goes hand in hand with the fact that students better understand what they hear, because they suddenly start recognizing actual words and phrases in what previously seemed just a shapeless mass of sounds. Crucial to this improvement is the fact that we also analyze the way words change when they are put together. This process is technically known as connected speech, and it is one of the most challenging and fascinating tasks for a non-native speaker.
  3. Get rid of typical Spanish mistakes. There is a long catalogue of pronunciation mistakes which are typical of Spanish speakers. We check all these difficulties in order to:
    • Understand where they come from. Usually they are the result of an interference from a Spanish phonetic feature. This lack of agreement between Spanish and English can be explained in easy, comprehensible terms.
    • Make sure that every student knows what must be changed to overcome that difficulty.
  4. Get rid of long-lasting, individual mistakes. There are also individual difficulties which are unique to each student. In a great number of cases they are quite simple, obvious mistakes which have become ingrained over the years because nobody has told the student how to correct them. I deal with these kinds of situations in a very personalized manner. The instructions the students are given are always technical, clear, precise and reliable, very far from the usual approach, which consists of merely imitating the teacher.
  5. Learn how to deal with pronunciation problems. From the very first day students are taught a working method which will allow them to address and overcome every type of pronunciation trouble they might encounter in the future. This gives them a very useful tool to manage for themselves in an effective way. The best thing is that this new capacity will last forever. It’s like riding a bicycle. You never forget how to do it.
  6. Pronounce vocabulary from your field of work correctly. The autonomy in solving any kind of pronunciation problem enables students to be very precise when it comes to using specific terms from their area of work, whichever this might be. This kind of vocabulary can be very difficult for several reasons (you only see it in writing, it isn’t always found in normal dictionaries, it has a complicated spelling, etc.). The ability to find out the correct pronunciation of all those words easily will be a professional improvement for you.
  7. Raise your English to its real level. Focusing on pronunciation prompts the student’s English level to rise exponentially and very quickly. This is not because of magic. Quite the contrary. It’s completely logical. In general, pronunciation is the most disregarded skill in English classes. As a result, many students have a good knowledge of grammar and a rich vocabulary but a mediocre or bad pronunciation which stand in the way of their communication abilities. By removing all the pronunciation obstacles, we get a more balanced English speaker. Someone who is able to show what he or she really knows.
  8. Enhance your image as an English speaker. Good pronunciation is highly beneficial in terms of the impression we make on others. An ever-increasing number of people are asked to use English in a professional environment. If this is your case, the image you project of yourself will be much better if you are able to produce English sounds effortlessly, with a good English accent and a natural intonation. Otherwise your speaking will be devalued by pronunciation mistakes. Bad pronunciation might mark you as a careless speaker (or even worse, as a slovenly worker) and convey false ideas, such as employers thinking you know less than you really do, or that you don’t have the appropriate communication abilities. Fortunately, pronunciation can be improved quickly and efficiently with the right approach.
  9. Become more confident. The final outcome of all this work is maybe the most important improvement of all:  students will gain confidence, self-assurance and peace of mind. But again, this sense of security is not based on any kind of fantasy or delusion, but the result of sound knowledge. Now Spanish speakers of English will always be sure that their spoken English will be flawless, because English pronunciation will hold no secrets from them anymore.

 

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