Beaches and Peaches: Common Pronunciation Errors Among L1 Spanish Speakers of English

  • Jesse Gleason (Iowa State University)


The following descriptive study aims to illustrate several types of common errors for L1 Spanish speakers of English. It describes four common phonetic distinctions that cause such speakers difficulties in English, including /p/ versus /b/ in a word-initial position, /i/ and /_/, /_/ versus /ow/, and the final voicing distinction between /t/ and /d/. Targeted errors were chosen based upon their relative functional load as well as the tendency to be problematic for Spanish-speakers of English. Data in the form of short read texts and a free speech activity is examined from two different international teaching assistants at a large, North American university in order to ascertain whether they exhibited such problems as well as to diagnose other pronunciation difficulties. Results showed that while the initial /p/ versus /b/ and /_/ versus /ow/ errors were less problematic, the /i/ versus /_/ and final voicing distinction between /t/ and /d/ were most difficult for the speakers in this sample. The latter type of error in addition to those involving other final- position consonant clusters, is argued to be of the highest priority for pronunciation teaching at the advanced level, as it tended to be the factor that most influenced the intelligibility and comprehensibility among the high-proficiency speakers examined here.

How to Cite:

Gleason, J., (2011) “Beaches and Peaches: Common Pronunciation Errors Among L1 Spanish Speakers of English”, Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Proceedings 3(1).

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Published on
31 Dec 2011