One of the greatest challenges of learning Spanish is developing your Spanish listening ability. With so many accents from different Spanish-speaking countries, it can be hard to understand. Like any Spanish language skill, you’ve got to practice! Read below to find the 6 best ways to improve your Spanish comprehension.
How to Improve Your Spanish Listening
Spanish Learning TV Shows – Like books, there are lots of TV Shows made specifically for Spanish language learning. Most of them are free! Two examples for you to check out are “Extra” and “Destinos.” In these shows, the characters purposefully speak with a slower rhythm and common words to help students get better at Spanish listening. Don’t stop there! Any Spanish video can be a great comprehension training tool nowadays. Youtube has a new feature that allows you to slow the video speed. Slow the tempo of the video and you’ll be able to understand more of the dialogue.
Tandem – Tandem is one of the all-around best ways to practice your Spanish (though there are lots of other ways too). A tandem is a partnership between two people who want to learn each other’s native language. In this case, you’ll find a Spanish speaker to team up with and talk to. Simply talking to a native Spanish speaker will help with your Spanish listening. Keep a pen and pencil at the ready to write down all the new things you learn.
Phone Calls – Phone calls can be intimidating when you have to speak another language. They’re even scarier when you don’t feel your Spanish listening is good enough to understand the other side. Once you’ve got your tandem partner all set up, test out some conversations on the phone. It’s great practice for the real deal!
Podcasts – There are so many Spanish listening podcasts available that it would simply be insane not to try one while learning Spanish! There are podcasts in Spanish about lots of different subjects. You should look for Spanish learning podcasts but even in this category, there’s lots of variety. Whether you’re interested in Spanish history, food, conversation, news or even comedy, you can find a Spanish podcast aimed at helping you improve your listening in Spanish!
Transcribing Challenge – This list has tons of ways to improve your Spanish listening. Keep practicing until you feel more comfortable speaking Spanish. After you begin to feel comfortable, raise the bar! Challenge yourself by listening to any of these Spanish resources while trying to write down what you hear. Transcribing your Spanish listening exercises help with understanding Spanish AND writing it!
Ask Questions (even stupid ones) – If you’ve found someone to have conversations in Spanish with, take full advantage! Speaking and practicing listening in Spanish is the best way to get better at Spanish listening. While in your conversation, if there’s something you don’t understand, ask! Most importantly, ask in Spanish. This will help you get used to asking contextual questions when you miss something. Stop pretending you understand and start trying to!
If you’re looking for more Spanish learning resources, check out what we’ve got here.