Monday, December 25, 2006

Improving your listening skill


Spanish is the native tongue of my fiance and his family. He is fluent in English, as are his grown children. They are so thoughtful, and only speak english when I am with them.

As a special gift, I would like to learn to understand and speak spanish fluently. Like most people I would like to do this as quickly as possible. I have a pretty good language background, took a semester of latin, spanish, german and then minored in french in college...20 years ago.

I have a 30 minute commute (each way) to work everday. I worked my way through Pimslers Spanish 1, am working my way through Micheal somebodys CD's. I have switched my MSN home page to Spanish, and I can understand most of what I read. The problem I seem to have is understanding the spoken language! It seems so fast!

He wants to take me to Spain in September, and I would like to surprise him by being able to say and hear a little more than "Where is the bathroom".



Developing a listening skill is one of the hardest thing for a language student. People spend years trying to improve their listening skill! Some ideas to do so are:

  • Listen to music in Spanish
  • Watch movies in Spanish (DVDs make this easy -- you can set subtitles in English to help you)
  • Listen to news in Spanish (you can do this through online radios)

Now, I don't want to discourage you. This is something that takes time. My suggestion is to ask your fiance and his family to speak more slowly. They won't mind. Spanish-speaking people admire the effort non-Spanish speakers make to speak our language! :)

And a final advice: Get over the fear of making mistakes. You will make mistakes, but that's quite normal. Nobody is expecting you to speak perfect Spanish. And making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn! After you realize this, it's easier to approach people.


- Karin

1 comment:

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