I'm almost 2 years into learning Spanish and I get lost after hearing a couple of words if I close my eyes. I watch shows and listen to Spanish podcast, and my ear for Spanish has not developed at all. What could I possible do to change this?
Reading A1, Listening or Seeing A1
Firstly, don't forget that here on Kwiziq there are lots of articles and stories read by our wonderful teacher Inma. As you listen to these articles, the Spanish text is there for you so that you can read whilst listening. When you hover over the sentences, you'll see everything translated into English for you with links to grammar etc. Start by just doing all the A1 levels. Listen and read at the same time. Then practise listening without the text.
On Netflix or YouTube, TED Talks or whatever medium available to me, I choose a film or programme that I am very familiar with in English. In my case, English is my first language. So, whatever your mother- tongue is make sure that you initially choose something you know well in your first language. On Netflix there is the option to change the language to Spanish. So initially I watch e.g. a film in Spanish with English subtitles. Sometimes I watch the film in English with Spanish subtitles. Then I watch the same film in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. When I start to feel that I'm following and understanding the Spanish more easily, I then watch the film in Spanish without any subtitles. I continue doing this until I know the film really well in Spanish. I do this all the time and as I said it has really helped me.
For me it was increasing my vocabulary and listening to Spanish every single day.
It has taken me 7 or 8 years to hear words in the middle of the conversation. In the beginning I could understand the first word and the last word said. Then subsequent years, I could hear and understand 1 or 2 more words. I was so happy. You can't stop with continued listening and vocabulary develpoment you will begin to hear it all!
I love what you've shared here Denise...
As you say, it's such an amazing & gratifying feeling when you start to hear full sentences in Spanish! Such a beautiful language.
You're absolutely right, increasing vocabulary and listening constantly. When my daughter was at school I used to insist that she learn 5 new French words a day, haha. It paid off though and she got top grades in her French exams. :))
I have started to listen to more podcasts. El Oso Latino Habla Español is one that has helped. Also Story Learning Spanish.
Clay - We all get that! The remedial key is these great read-along audio stories. First time through, listen (eyes closed or open) and just let your mind skip over unrecognized words. Next, scan through the text for unfamiliar words and click to see the translation. Then for the second time , read along with the audio. If you get lost, stop the audio, read from the start up to where you got lost making sure you now understand the vocab and start the audio from just before where you got lost. Usually after three audio shots the story makes sense and your vocab and comprehension improves progressively. Good luck!
And thanks to Lawless for the great material!
Keep trying!!! Practise practise. Everyone is different as each brain is different. It'll come over time. Don't be too hard on yourself.
The best way to learn is to get yourself a Spanish or Latin American girlfriend (or boyfriend)! Or if you're married, a friend or friends that you can hang out with. (Some people in my town join the mostly Spanish-speaking soccer players after work.) Try to spend some time in a Spanish-speaking country if at all possible. Many places now offer schools where you can spend a week or two of your vacation studying Spanish part of the day.
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