3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills in Spanish

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3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills in Spanish

One of the greatest languages to learn for travel is Spanish. Learning Spanish increases your employability and keeps your mind sharp. You’ll improve as a person, and you’ll discover a new world of art, literature, and beauty. You can improve your understanding of pop culture, and it won’t take long. Listening is an important part of the importance of listening skills. We must make a conscious effort to not just hear but also to absorb, digest, and comprehend what others are saying.

Listening not only improves your capacity to understand and communicate but also makes other people’s experience of conversing with you more pleasurable. To communicate in Spanish, you must be able to listen. You might even be able to read and write it. You’ll never be able to communicate fully if you can’t understand spoken Spanish. Simply said, listening exercises will help you comprehend more of what you hear. In Spanish, there are two prevalent ways to mean “listen.” You can use the verbs “Escuchar,” and “or.” The verb “Escuchar” denotes paying attention to what a sound (or what someone is speaking) means, whereas “oír” denotes hearing a sound through your ear.

How to Improve the Language?

There are a variety of activities that can assist you in improving the language:

  • Active listening exercises:

Being attentive and actively listening are two different things. You will notice new vocabulary if you are an active listener. You’ll be eager to ask questions, and you’ll eventually get the context, even if you don’t comprehend every single word. If you’re listening to your pal’s talk, for example, don’t be hesitant to inquire about the meaning of certain phrases or the context of the conversation. Keen listening in Spanish classes can also help you enhance your Spanish listening abilities.

You can better understand what others are saying if you ask them to talk slower. If you can’t get someone to speak slower, you can ask them to speak more slowly so you can comprehend what they’re saying. This activity is designed for beginners and is based on the notion of cognates, which are words that are similar in both English and Spanish. For proper comprehension, active listening is essential. Try to pay attention to the talk. Keep an eye out for new terminology and patterns. In the same way, if you’re learning a new language, write notes and ask questions. Never be afraid to interrupt and inquire what a word means. You may always write it down or ask a teacher or a friend to translate the word for you if you don’t comprehend what the Spanish speaker is saying.

  • Practicing with native speakers:

Listening abilities can be improved in a variety of ways, including practicing with native speakers. This is the most effective technique to improve your Spanish listening abilities. Make an effort to listen to talks in your native tongue as often as possible. You can use this method to practice words and phrases that you are having trouble understanding. It will be easier to understand and ask questions when you are ready to try a conversation with a native speaker. You might also have a friend repeat the words you just said.

  • Listening to Spanish conversations:

Another approach to improve your listening abilities is listening to Spanish conversations. Use active listening activities as a next step. Real-time involvement is ideal for these exercises. The idea is for you to communicate with people who speak Spanish. You can ask a native speaker to repeat something if you don’t understand it. You’ll be able to comprehend more of their phrases this way. If you are unable to do so, you should practice the language with another language. It’s also a good idea to practice with native speakers. They will be able to instruct you on how to answer your sentences and inquiries in this manner.

First, attempt to listen to discussions in languages other than your own. You will be forced to make adjustments and ask for an explanation as a result of this. You’ll be astounded at how much information you can glean from context. After all, listening is the most fundamental kind of communication. You may greatly improve your Spanish listening skills by following the easy technique. You can also scribble down what you hear which can help in improving your comprehension. The difference will astound you. You’ll eventually be able to comprehend more sophisticated conversations. This is an excellent technique to improve your listening abilities.

  • Patience is a virtue, and you should try to move at your own pace:

When listening to native Spanish speakers, many Spanish language students become upset. We realize you want to learn Spanish as soon as possible so you can join in on conversations with your friends, comprehend song lyrics, and watch Spanish movies. But don’t get too worked up; no matter how hard you try, it will always take time. It doesn’t mean you won’t get there; it simply means you’ll have to wait. First and foremost, you must be honest with yourself about your current Spanish level. If you only started learning Spanish a few months ago, it’s pointless to try to understand a movie. It will simply irritate you.

  • Increasing your vocabulary:

This can preferably improve your Spanish listening skills. You’ll be able to grasp and remember certain words in talks if you expand your vocabulary. You can improve your language skills by concentrating on cognates. You may improve your Spanish listening abilities by preparing for the conversation. This will aid in your mastery of the language and your ability to communicate with native speakers. Active listening can be practiced in a variety of ways. You should concentrate on active engagement when listening to Spanish. Look for fresh words and phrases to actively participate in the discourse. You will become a better speaker of the language as a result of this. If you can’t find the words you’re looking for, try copying them. These exercises will help you enhance your Spanish speaking and listening abilities in the long run.

Can Passive Listening Be Enough?

Passive listening will not help you develop your conversational Spanish abilities. Being a good listener requires more than just passive listening. To become an excellent Spanish speaker, passive listening is insufficient. While listening, you must actively participate in the dialogue. This entails not only noticing new words but also noticing word patterns. You’ll also need to ask inquiries. It’s fine to interrupt the speaker to inquire about the meaning of a word. You can write down the vocabulary if you don’t understand the Spanish words.

What Is the Best Way to Train Your Ear to Understand Spanish?

Turn on a Spanish-language station on the television or the radio. Alternatively, you can view videos online (try Telemundo, Univision, or BBC Mundo), rent English-subtitled movies, or listen to music.

Is It Possible to Learn Spanish by Listening?

While learning a language only by passive listening can be difficult, it is a genuine (and occasionally effective) method of language acquisition. French speakers, for example, can learn Spanish by passively listening to Spanish in their daily lives.

Why Is It So Tough to Learn Spanish?

Spanish is a deceptively tough language. This could be because many Spanish words are cognates or words that have the same sound in two or more languages.

Three common problems faced;

Problem 1: The first issue is that your mind has been blown

  • Situation:

You’ve been studying Spanish for quite some time. You can comprehend written texts. Then you try your hand at listening to Spanish for the first time. You now have the mentality of a two-year-old. Separate words are the only ones you can comprehend. Nothing seems to make sense. What gives this is possible?

  • Explanation:

Understanding the pronunciation and intonation of a native speaker is difficult while learning a new language. When it comes to listening, we’re accustomed to being passive. We take it for granted. Our mother tongue words simply float from our ear to our brain. There is no need to exert additional effort. Words in a foreign language, on the other hand, encounter many hurdles before being processed. Whether it’s the speakers’ accent, the way a word is pronounced, or even the sentence intonation pattern, it’s all-important. Furthermore, you have a finite amount of time to listen to and comprehend information.

  • Solution:

Practice and repetition are the best solutions. Compare your comprehension with and without the transcript in tiny pieces of listening. What was it that prevented you from comprehending, pronunciation, intonation, and accent? Repeat the process until you can understand the recording without needing to refer to the transcript. After then, move on to a different text. Gradually, you will gain more self-assurance. As you become more accustomed to hearing Spanish, it will become easier to process it in real-time.

Problem 2: Irrational nodding

  • Situation:

Relating to this situation can be easy. A conversation/song/recording is heard. You begin confidently and comprehend the first three to four words/sentences. When an unexpected word pops out, you can’t get your mind off that term. You have no idea what that means. You consider, search, and reconsider. You’ve lost half of the vital information you need by the time you return to listening. You drift away from the speaker. You’re feeling tense. Worst of all, you can’t understand a word and wind up nodding aimlessly.

  • Explanation:

When we listen to a speaker in our home tongue, we are accustomed to making little to no effort. It’s not that straightforward in Spanish (or any other foreign language for that matter). You aren’t familiar with every term in the dictionary. And believe me when I say that neither should you. So, attempting to understand everything the first time you hear a conversation, song, or recording will simply frustrate you.

  • Solution:

First, make a prediction. Second, concentrate. Finally, let’s wrap things up.

To begin, guess what topic you’ll be hearing about before you start listening. Which words are likely to come up? What kind of information is required to be provided? What are your thoughts on the subject? It has been established that having a mental image of the topic you’ll be listening to will help you listen more effectively. As a result, you will have an easier time understanding the dialogue. This is very useful for any subject or everyday issue.

Second, concentrate just on crucial terms and ignore the rest. Don’t worry, if some people don’t comprehend every word; just try to get the gist of what’s being said. The majority of the information we utilize is simply to fill in the blanks. It’s also important to pay attention to body language at this stage because it conveys a lot of information. That is why speaking with someone in person rather than over the phone is preferable.

Third, attempt to make a big picture out of the primary ideas you DO comprehend, and if you’re talking to someone, repeat the information to be sure you’ve gotten it right.

Problem 3: Why do you all speak so quickly?

  • Situation:

You meet a charming person who says, “Do you speak Spanish?” You summon confidence and nod, feeling daring. You say “s, a little,” and it’s too late by the time you want to open your mouth again. It’s impossible to put a halt to him. You feel as if you’ve been trampled by a tidal wave of words.

  • Explanation:

Spanish is a language that moves quickly. It has been established that Spanish speakers are the fastest in the world. It’s no surprise, however, that when you first hear a native Spanish speaker, you struggle.

  • Solution:

Don’t be put off by it! If you’re speaking with someone, remember to say “no entiendo, could you speak a little slower, please?” Simple, yet powerful, and to help you get used to hearing; there is a valuable YouTube tool. Simply go to YouTube and sign in. Look for a video in Spanish. Play the video. Also, reduce the pace.  It’s simple: there’s a small wheel underneath each video. You can vary the speed at which each person speaks by clicking on it. You will gradually become accustomed to the pace of Spanish, and you may even surprise yourself by speaking at their speed.


Listening is important in the language classroom because it gives the student input. Any learning cannot begin until the input is understood at the appropriate level. They hear as a catalyst for interaction and learning, not as a hindrance. Listening abilities help you to decipher and comprehend what someone else is saying. To put it another way, listening skills enable people to comprehend what someone is saying; the meaning behind the words. You’ll be able to communicate more effectively with Spanish speakers if you master the language. Being able to communicate in Spanish adds value to your résumé. Your ability to comprehend Spanish allows you to get vital insights that monolinguals are unable to achieve.

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Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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