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Division of Syllables in Spanish

Subject:

Language Arts  

Grades:

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Division of Syllables in Spanish
By – Charles Alonso
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 6-12

Lesson Scope:
Primary Topic: Spanish Syllables
Secondary Topics: Rules for Stress

NC Standard Course of Study – Grades 6-8 (Exploratory) – Competency Goal 5:

  • 5.01 – Identify the sound patterns of the target language and compare them to his/her own language(s).
  • 5.02 – Recognize similarities and differences in the ways languages are written (e.g., alphabet/characters, symbols) in the target language and his/her own language(s).

Lesson:
To reinforce the lessons involving learning about the correct pronunciation of Spanish words, the teacher will explain how words that the students already know very well follow the rules for stress and the correct way to divide words into syllables.

Students are asked to bring their notebooks and a pencil every day. Depending on the time allotted for the class, a teacher may have to allow 2-3 class periods for this activity.

The teacher will ask the students to write and keep in their notebooks a list of twenty words they already know in Spanish (this list could be a homework assignment given the day before).

The teacher should make sure that all the students have a list (the teacher should have copies of a list of twenty simple words in Spanish for those students that are just starting or low achievers).

As the teacher discusses the correct spelling and the correct pronunciation of some of their words, the students may add to their lists additional words from the class discussion. Once the lists are completed and corrected, the teacher may divide the class into groups of two or three students, allowing them time to compare their lists.

(This may be all that the teacher will be able to complete in the first lesson.)

The students are then presented with a copy of the “Rules for Division of Syllables in Spanish.” The teacher may have a transparency prepared for this lesson or even a really nice PowerPoint presentation with each of the five rules and many examples.

Students are asked to give examples from their list for each of the five rules.

The last lesson will be conducted as an open notebook evaluation.

The teacher will present the students with a list of twenty new words, either as a handout or on a transparency. To the right of each new word the students will divide the words into syllables, write the rule number being used, and give the English translation. The teacher may assess each student’s work by one-on-one discussion, group discussion, or a written test that the teacher will grade.

DIVISION OF SYLLABLES IN SPANISH
by Charles Alonso – www.wildernessmission.net

Spanish Rules of Stress A-B-C:

For words with a written accent mark:

  1. If a word has a written accent mark, then put more stress on the syllable with
    the written accent mark (á-é-í-ó-ú – only vowels have a written accent mark).

        -xi-co                    Pe-

                             Pa-na-

For words without a written accent mark:

  1. If a word ends in a consonant, except N or S, then
    put more stress on the last syllable:
        pa-

    pel

                  can-

    tar

                  ha-

    blar

  2. If a word ends in a vowel, N or S, then put more stress on the next to the last syllable:

    ga

        -to

    ha

      -blo

Division of Syllables 1-2-3-4-5:

  1. Make syllables one consonant first followed by one vowel

    (as much as possible and wherever possible).

Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
CA-SA = house
GA-TO = cat
TE--FO-NO = telephone
MA- = mom
GOR-DO = fat
A-NO-CHE = last night
    • Only one strong vowel per syllable.
      STRONG VOWELS:    A    E    O    Í    Ú   
      WEAK VOWELS:    I    or    U   (without a written accent mark).
      Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
      TO-A-LLA = towel
      A-E-RO-PUER-TO = airport
      O-SO = bear
      FE-O = ugly
      -O = uncle

      NOTE: The letter I or U (without a written accent mark) can be alone only at the beginning of a word.

      Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
      U-RU-GUAY = Uruguay
      I-TA-LIA = Italy
      U-NI-DO = united
      I-GUAL = same
      I-GUA-NA = iguana
      LOS   ES-TA-DOS   U-NI-DOS = The United States
  • Never separate a diphthong — What is a diphthong?

    A DIPHTHONG is when you see — I or U together with any other vowel.
    NOTE: I or U must be without a written accent mark. The other vowel may or may not have a written accent mark.

    Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
    JUAN = John
    MA-RIO = Mario
    CA-MIÓN = truck
    BUE-NO = good
    PIA-NO = piano
    AC-CIÓN = action
    ES-TU-DIAN-TE = student
    PUER-TA = door

    NOTE: Do divide when it is not a diphthong.
    When the letter I or U has a written accent mark, it becomes strong.

    Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
    -AS = days
    -O = uncle
    MA--A = Mary
    PA-RA-Í-AO = paradise

  • Divide two consonants that are between two vowels.
Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
¿CUÁN-DO? = when
¿DÓN-DE? = where
PRIN-CI-PAL = principal
CAR-TE-RO = mailman

EXCEPTION: When the letter L or R has a consonant before and a vowel after, keep them all together in the same syllable.

Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
PRI-MO = cousin
INS-TRU-MEN-TO = instrument
CLA-SE = class
ES-TRE-CHO = narrow
DIA-BLO = devil
DO-BLA-DI-LLO = hem

  • Never separate: CH, LL, RR — They are considered one letter.
Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
CHI-NA = China
MU-CHA-CHO = teen boy
PE-RRO = dog (m)
CA-RRI-TO = little car
GA-LLO = rooster
A-MA-RI-LLO = yellow

NOTE: Divide these two double consonants: CC & NN.

Examples: (Put more stress on the bold syllable)
AC-CIÓN = action
IN-NU-ME-RA-BLE = innumerable
RE-AC-CIÓN = Reaction
IN-NE-CE-SA-RIO = unnecessary


Quick Reference Notes:

DIVISION OF SYLLABLES IN SPANISH

  1. Make syllables one consonant first, followed by one vowel (as much as possible).
  2. Only one strong vowel per syllable.
    Strong vowels:   A    E    O    Í    Ú   
    Weak vowels:    I    or    U   (without a written accent mark).
  3. Never separate a diphthong.
    A diphthong is when you see I or U together with another vowel.
    Note: I or U must be without a written accent.
  4. Divide two consonants that are between two vowels.
    Exception: When the letter L or R has a consonant before and a vowel after,
    keep them all together in the same syllable.

    Never separate: CH LL RR. They are considered one letter.

    Divide these double consonants: CC & NN.


  • If a word ends in a consonant, except N or S,
    then put more stress on the last syllable.
  • If a word ends in a vowel, N or S,
    then put more stress on the next to the last syllable.

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