Marvelous Mexico City: CELTA Teaching Practice and Problems with Pronunciation

Please allow me to introduce myself. ūüôā

My name is Magali. Hah. Maybe this will be my new Mexican name, since this is how most people pronounce Megan in Mexico. ūüôā

I have mentioned in earlier posts that Megan is a very uncommon name. Pronunciation is also very challenging when trying to understand a new language.

This trip to Starbucks was also relevant to our input session this morning. We focused on pronunciation and phonology. We¬†discussed the¬†difference between how a word is written and how it is spoken. We analyzed stress, pronunciation, contractions and linking of words. Let’s look at two¬†examples.

1. “She cried until her Mom bought her vanilla ice cream” quickly becomes “She cried until her mom butter vanilla ice cream” when spoken.

2. “I’ll ask her to call you back” sounds like “Alaska to call you back” when spoken.

It can be very challenging for ESL learners to understand English when hearing a native speak at a fast pace. As teachers we have to recognize these issues and learn how to address them when teaching our students proper pronunciation.

I thought it was also a very challenging lesson, since many of our teachers¬†are from the UK and Mexico and their pronunciation is very different from my American pronunciation and Wisconsin accent. For example, Rebecca from Mexico pronounces “vanilla” as “banilla.” Matt from the UK pronounces “vanilla” as “vaniller.”

Overall, it was a very beneficial lesson; however, it was a lot to absorb on a Friday! ūüôā

The past two days I have also been working on a case study for assignment #3. The assignment is called “Focus on the Learner.” We are required to interview one of our learners and ask them to write a short story in order to identify their strengths and weaknesses. I interviewed Leonel.


He is 44 years old and a native of Mexico. He is a waiter for a catering company called Banquetes Mayita. They host many parties for important political figures and he would like to learn English so that he can communicate better with their bodyguards. He is also majoring in Psychology at UNAM. His emphasis is on stress and burnout. Many of the articles required for his thesis paper are written in English, so he would like to improve his abilities in reading. In his short story about Mexico, he talked about a trip he took to the beach to watch baby sea turtles walk into the sea. He also talked about his favorite writer, Edgar Allen Poe. He is a very sweet guy and he said that he really enjoys our classes. He finds them challenging and also very interactive. My next task is to identify professional literature that could be used to help Leonel with his errors in grammar. That will be my homework for the weekend. I also hope to have a few adventures in Mexico City as well. Enjoy the day. TGIF. ūüėÄ

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