The 7 Top Types of Resources for Practicing Your Spanish Listening
My, what big ears you have.
No, no, come back! That wasn’t meant as an insult.
Big ears are a blessing—all the better to hear Spanish with.
Listening practice is essential to learning Spanish, but it’s easy to forget about it. You might be focused completely on making progress with your textbook or trying to speak full sentences.
Practicing listening is important because it helps you understand the spoken language. However, there’s so much more to listening practice than that. Hearing spoken Spanish will help you improve your pronunciation, pick up new vocabulary and can even help you perfect your grammar.
The good news is that there are plenty of great ways to help you fine tune your listening skills with little effort.
With these diverse types of Spanish listening resources, you’ll turn up your Spanish skills in no time!
7 Trendy Types of Resources for Spanish Listening Practice
Nowadays, English podcasts are everywhere online. Spanish podcasts are just beginning to get up and running. So, where to find the best ones for you?
You can find plenty of great podcasts in Spanish on websites like Audiria, but there are a lot of other Spanish podcasts, too. You can download them any device or listen online, making podcasts an exceptional choice for anyone looking to practice listening to Spanish.
Podcasts are convenient to listen to. You can download them onto your phone or other device and listen to them whenever you have a couple minutes.
What’s more, podcasts are flexible. You can sit down in front of your computer or listen on the go. You can listen for a few minutes or a few hours. Podcasts can basically serve whatever purpose you want them to serve. They’re like the Swiss Army knife of listening resources.
Podcasts also offer a diverse array of options for all skill levels. Beginning speakers might try podcasts designed for learners. More advanced learners can dive in with podcasts intended for native Spanish speakers.
How to Get the Most Out of Listening to Podcasts
Pick the best podcast for your goals. For instance, learning podcasts can help teach you the rules, but more general podcasts will help advanced speakers make the leap to fluency. Choosing the best podcast for your goals will help ensure you’re engaged and working towards what you want to achieve.
Engage with the podcast. Pause and talk back to it. This will help you practice your speaking as well, and this is a great way to prepare for real conversations.
Listen casually when doing other things. Passive listening is a valuable way to learn and improve your Spanish without having to put so much effort in. This will help you improve your pronunciation naturally, just because you’re always getting more familiar with the sounds of the language. Over time, you’ll also have an easier time making out individual words.
Learning Spanish through music is fun and easy. Music is great for listening practice since it’s catchy and easy to remember.
Listening to music is unobtrusive. It’s easy to listen whenever and wherever.
Music is also entertaining. Whoever said they hated music? That’s right: No one.
Additionally, music often uses common words, so this is a great way to build your vocabulary with useful words.
How to Get the Most Out of Listening to Music
Make Spanish-language music the soundtrack to your life—even if you aren’t paying full attention, you’ll still benefit from listening. You’ll see your pronunciation (and mood) improve if you listen often.
Sing along. Not only is this a great way to give your pipes a workout, it will also help you perfect your pronunciation. Plus, the very act of saying the words makes them easier to remember.
Memorize songs to use the lyrics as a model for grammar rules and vocabulary. Lyrics are easier to memorize than phrases without a melody. This makes lyrics exceptionally useful for using as models.
Movies can help you learn real Spanish. Plus, they’re a great excuse to consume more popcorn. You know you wanted to, anyway.
Movies are long enough to immerse you. Since movies are often a couple hours long, watching them is a lot like immersion in the language. They allow enough time for you to get fully engulfed in the language which will help you start thinking in Spanish.
There are also a wide variety of genres which make it easy for you to find something entertaining regardless of your preferences or mood. Plus, each genre will have slightly different vocabulary. For instance, you’ll hear very different terms in a Western than you will in a crime drama.
How to Get the Most Out of Watching Movies
Watch your favorite Spanish-language movie often. Not only will you get the entertainment benefits, this will also help you memorize your favorite lines which you’ll be able to use to remember vocabulary and grammar rules.
Speak your favorite lines along with the actors. This will help you practice your pronunciation and impressions.
Pause and rewind to listen again until you understand a scene completely. Ensuring you fully understand the scene will help you practice recognizing every word rather than leaning on context clues.
TV shows are a valuable learning tool. It’s an entertaining medium that’s designed to hold your attention, so you won’t have much trouble focusing on the material at hand.
Episodes are short enough to fit into gaps in your schedule. This makes TV shows less daunting and more flexible than their cousin, movies.
If you find a show you like, you can get more episodes. Once a movie is over, it’s over, but TV shows often allow you to keep going.
TV shows often focus heavily on conversation. Since conversation skills are essential to fluency, TV shows will help provide you with the practice you need.
How to Get the Most Out of Watching TV
Watch all the episodes of your favorite shows. Everyone understands the appeal of binge watching. Now imagine that binge watching improves your Spanish – it’s a win-win.
Even if you haven’t seen the episode, when characters are conversing, try pausing and guessing how the next speaker will respond. In conversation, you can often anticipate what someone will say. Practicing like this will help prepare you for real conversations.
There are some great YouTube channels designed for Spanish learners, but there are also plenty of Spanish-language videos that will improve your skills even if they don’t intend to.
YouTube offers a huge variety of options to fit the needs of any learner. New videos are uploaded every minute, so if you can’t find something you want now, you’ll be able to soon.
YouTube is convenient and free. You can access it easily from any internet-enabled device for no charge. What could be better?
How to Get the Most Out of Watching YouTube Videos
Use targeted searches to find the right video for you. For instance, if you want to watch a video about a certain grammar rule, you’ll probably be able to find that, but you can also find regional videos, music videos and much, much more.
Audiobooks are spoken versions of traditional books. You can purchase downloadable audiobooks, or you can subscribe to a service like Audible which offers a number of great Spanish-language audiobooks. Regardless, there are some great audiobooks and even audiobook courses to help Spanish learners perfect their skills.
Audiobooks are convenient. You can listen to them anywhere. If you don’t understand something, you can easily pause and rewind. You can listen for a few minutes or a few hours. It’s all up to you.
Additionally, audiobooks are immersive. Since books can be rather long, audiobooks offer the opportunity to be fully immersed in the spoken version of a text.
How to Get the Most Out of Listening to Audiobooks
Choose a book at an appropriate level. Too advanced will be demotivating, but too easy won’t help you advance as much. Choosing the right book will ensure you keep coming back to it and enjoy the learning process.
If you’re focusing solely on listening, write down words or phrases you don’t know and look them up. This will help you expand your vocabulary.
Memorize your favorite quotations. Many books are incredibly quotable. You might want to share some quotations with your Spanish-speaking friends. Not only that, this will also help you remember valuable vocabulary and grammar rules, too.
Online radio services like iHeartRadio offer Spanish-language radio stations from the US and often radio stations from other countries like Mexico. These radio stations offer an abundant source of listening resources from around the world.
Radio makes it easy to select regional variations. Just choose a radio station out of your target region.
The diverse array of options means there’s something for everyone. Whether you like sports, news, music or general talk radio, there’s a station out there for you.
Radio is also easy to have it on in the background. Passive listening can help you improve your pronunciation, so listening to the radio in the background is a great way to improve your Spanish skills even if you don’t have time to study.
How to Get the Most Out of Listening to the Radio
Leave the radio on when you’re doing other things. The more often you hear spoken Spanish, the more likely you are to start thinking (and even dreaming) in Spanish. This will help propel you to fluency without occupying any time.
Select a station you really enjoy so you want to listen often. Find a station that relates to your interests. Make sure it isn’t too challenging so that you can enjoy it without having to focus too much on the language. The more often you listen, the better you’ll get at listening to (and speaking) Spanish.
So tune in to these great resources for Spanish listening practice, and turn the dial to learning!
Gustavo, Perfect Sunset School CEO and director.
I create the school to show our students a life change experience in Costa Rica.
I love surfing and teaching languages... We are more than lessons.