Margaret Blair
spanish listening
What is the best way to improve my listening comprehension of Spanish? I have been watching some movies and TV shows in Spanish, but I use the subtitles or I am lost! And so my reading of Spanish is becoming quite good but I still can't understand much when they speak so fast.
Jun 22, 2020 5:55 PM
Comments · 6
Hi!! I’m a Spanish speaker and I love learning new languages. What I could recommend you-which has helped me as well with the languages I learned- is to start watching Disney movies or kids movies (depending on your level of fluency). There they speak more clearly and you could find subtitles more easily.
Another thing I can think of to improve your listening would be obviously listening to music, some Youtube videos (for Spanish learners ,maybe not vlogs yet) and using these kind of apps to communicate with *REAL LIFE* native Spanish speakers. I’m too lazy to write so if you need any help, hit me up bc I’ll probably be more likely to send you a voice message or something so that could as well help you hahah
June 23, 2020
I went through this myself with Spanish.
Here are some things that I did that improved my listening comprehension:

1) When you watch a Spanish TV show, don't try to understand entire sentences.
Just try to get your ears to "grab" words that are familiar to you.
All languages are repetitive, and certain words come up again and again.
Once your ears recognize those words easily, you can stop focusing on them and then move your attention to other words in the conversation.

2) Keep a notebook and a pen in your lap.
For every word your ears recognize as an independent word, make a slash mark on the paper.
(Even if you don't know the definition of the word, hearing it as a word separate from other words is a huge step in understanding)
Over time you will see the number of slash marks grow during an episode.

3) Write down any word that you want to look up later, especially if you notice that you hear it often.

4) Learn some of the "filler" words that are used. This allows your brain to skip over them because they arfe not important to meaning.

5) This is maybe the most important. Learn to hear the pronouns. Subject pronouns, Direct object pronouns, and Indirect pronouns. Hearing these and knowing what they mean will be a huge jump in understanding.

6) Rewatch the same series again and again.
After you know the story and the characters, your ears can focus on hearing the dialogue clearer and clearer each time. This really pays off.

Good luck!

June 22, 2020
Hi Margaret, I think that if you keep watching tv shows in spanish with subtitles in spanish, you will improve with time. Be patient, the more you listen and read, the more you will understand, it's a matter of time and practice! I am a native spanish speaker, if you want I can help you with conversation
June 22, 2020
Thank you for all these wonderful suggestions, everyone. Right now my Spanish tutor has me watching La Casa de Las Flores.
Watching La Casa de Las Flores has been a highly entertaining way for me to improve my Spanish! I watch an episode almost every night. It takes me an hour and a half to watch a half-hour episode because I keep stopping it to look up a word and then write it down. But I notice in season 3 I am stopping it less frequently so maybe I am making some progress!
June 23, 2020
Hi, Margaret!

You can also start with TV-show EXTRA. It's specially made for language learners, so they speak incredibly slooooow. Also it's long enough for getting used to the language and then continue with other materials.
You can watch it subtitles or without them - whatever you prefer.

I also got for myself that it's better start with foreign movies translated to spanish. They speak little bit more artificial there, than in originally spanish movies, and that could help a lot.

For more advanced level I've started to watch Isabel on rtve channel. That's funny, as they speak as from medival times, but still they do it <em>very</em> clearly. Even though quite fast. El ministerio del tiempo for example, that I'm watching now is much more complicated, as they speak normal.

The last thing for practice listening you can try this guy. His courses are just magnificent, and he has a lot of material just for free - the weekly podcast.
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June 23, 2020
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Margaret Blair
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language