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Old 18th September 2010, 10:53 PM   #1
JDan
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Default Best way to improve listening skills?

Hi,
I find listening comprehension to be the hardest part of learning Spanish. I try to listen to RNE every day or watch Euronews with Spanish audio, and while I can sometimes get the general gist of what is going on, I never feel confident that I have really understood anything. I find the accents, speed and slang especially difficult to deal with.

I realise that a lot of the subject content in the things I listen to will be way above my current level but I am trying to get used to real Spanish rather than the boring / repetitive conversations we often have in class.

What methods have worked for you?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 19th September 2010, 12:12 AM   #2
Beckett
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Yes, listening comprehension can be very challenging. While watching/listening to the news in Spanish is a great way to acclimate your ear to the sounds of Spanish, if you are currently at a beginner or intermediate level it may be too overwhelming for you at this point to expect to understand a lot of what is being said, especially when there are multiple speakers talking at once.

My advice to you is to supplement what you are currently doing with the following:

a). Rent DVDs of movies you've already seen in English and watch them with the Spanish dubbed in along with the Spanish subtitles. Since you are already familiar with the plot, you can pay closer attention to the sounds and accents of the people speaking Spanish.

b). On the RTVE.es web site, watch children's shows in Spanish. There are several to choose from and depending on the program, there might be a lot of repetition of words and phrases which again will train your ear and improve your listening comprehension.

c). Check out any of the numerous instructional Spanish podcasts on the web that provide word-for-word transcripts (either for purchase or presented gratis on their respective web sites as blog entries). That way you can listen first and then read the transcript afterwards to see how much you understood. You've got Notes in Spanish (which of course you already know about it ), SpanishPodcast.org, CodysCuentos.com, News Time Spanish, SpanishNewsBites.com and SpanishOnlySpanish.com. But there are lots more. Check out iTunes for more suggestions.

d). Look for a Spanish podcast in a topic area that interests you. These would be podcasts produced by native Spanish speakers for other native Spanish speakers, so there won't be any instruction given and the speed of speech will be closer to "real life."

Do you love the cinema? Find a Spanish language podcast about movies. Do you enjoy sports or are fascinated by computers? Same idea. You'll have to do some digging around to find decent podcasts but it's doable. Pick a subject area that interests you and which you already have a deep understanding or knowledge about in English, that way you may enjoy listening to the Spanish more.

e). Last but not least, look for an intercambio (Spanish-English conversation exchange). If you find the right partner, an intercambio can do wonders for your listening comprehension. There's a separate section here in the Notes from Spain forum where Spaniards post their interest in doing a language exchange with native English speakers. Another site to find a conversation partner is The Mixxer.

Good luck and let the forum know how your listening comprehension is progressing!

Last edited by Beckett; 19th September 2010 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 14th October 2010, 11:36 AM   #3
daveyboy
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JDan. A good idea to train your ear in to the Spanish is with audio books, if your at the beginners level then listening to advanced audio books is not a very good idea, it will bring frustration..

I have done it in the past and it was very hard to understand, I got some good tips and advice from a Polyglot on another forum [ he speaks over 6 languages ]

He told me to start off listening to audio books, but at a level just* above mine, plus reading along at the same time [ very important ] because you see the words and phrases while you hear them.

Well, I hunted around a few book shops and on the net and I found a series of books that are perfect at this time for my level, and maybe yours..?

The books are called Lola Lago Detective, there are 7 in the series ranging in Levels: A1 / A2 / A2+ / and B1, they don't contain a lot of pages [ maybe 50 ] but they are very good..!! just pop the cd in the pc, press play and read and listen.

When I first listened to the A1 story [ Vacaciones al sol ] I listened to just the audio, I really struggled to understand it..!!

For the next ten times I listened to it, I read along with it, now I can just listen to it and understand everything..

Thats why it's very important when your listening, make sure you read as well because by listening and reading the audio connects with the words and phrases and it's more easy for the brain to start understanding.

here is the link on amazon if you can't find a book store that sell them:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_...lago+detective
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Old 14th October 2010, 01:00 PM   #4
duncan_m
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¡Muy bien! Yo sabía mas de estos pero ¨Spanish Only Spanish" para mi es nuevo! !Gracias! Parece muy bueno, estoy descargando todos los episodios ahora :-)

Mañana por la mañana voy a conducir a mi trabajo y en el coche voy a escuchar a un episodio de ¨Spanish only Spanish¨. Hay un episodio se llama ¨Finding a Boyfriend¨, no creo que escucharé a eso episodio.


Hay ¨News in Slow Spanish¨ también.. es muy bueno: http://www.newsinslowspanish.com/




Duncan.

Last edited by duncan_m; 14th October 2010 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 15th October 2010, 10:34 AM   #5
JDan
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daveyboy,

Es A1 el nivel más facíl?

Estoy de acuerdo que es muy beneficioso a leer mientras escuchando.
Acabo de encontrar esta página de YouTube donde puede ver Pocoyo en espanol pero tambien hay subtítulos en inglés y espanol. Lo me ha ayudado mucho, especialmente con el vocabulario.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ScottnRod
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Old 15th October 2010, 12:30 PM   #6
daveyboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDan View Post
daveyboy,

Es A1 el nivel más facíl?

Estoy de acuerdo que es muy beneficioso a leer mientras escuchando.
Acabo de encontrar esta página de YouTube donde puede ver Pocoyo en espanol pero tambien hay subtítulos en inglés y espanol. Lo me ha ayudado mucho, especialmente con el vocabulario.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ScottnRod
Sí JDan, A1 es elemental, el audio no es rapido pero bueno..!

Los videos en youtube son buenos JDan..!! Tengo otra página para ti, se llama lingustv, el audio es más rapido que Lola Lago por ejemplo, pero tiene el transcripción tambien

Haz clic Aqui.

http://www.lingus.tv/

Un saludo

Daveyboy
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Old 15th October 2010, 01:08 PM   #7
Stephen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveyboy View Post
Sí JDan, A1 es elemental, el audio no es rapido pero bueno..!

Los videos en youtube son buenos JDan..!! Tengo otra página para ti, se llama lingustv, el audio es más rapido que Lola Lago por ejemplo, pero tiene el transcripción tambien

Haz clic Aqui.

http://www.lingus.tv/

Un saludo

Daveyboy
I'm tempted to try one of the audio books you linked to Daveyboy but I see some are described as level A1 or A2 in degree of difficulty while others are described as level 0 or level 1. Also it's not clear to me if all the books come with audio. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poderoso-cab.../ref=pd_cp_b_0
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Old 16th October 2010, 03:29 AM   #8
Lise
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Aquí un texto historico

"Érase una vez Al-Ándaluz de las tres culturas"
(Autor: Tarik Boubker)

que podéis leer mientras escuchando

www.webislam.com/?idt=15768
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Old 16th October 2010, 11:10 AM   #9
daveyboy
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
I'm tempted to try one of the audio books you linked to Daveyboy but I see some are described as level A1 or A2 in degree of difficulty while others are described as level 0 or level 1. Also it's not clear to me if all the books come with audio. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poderoso-cab.../ref=pd_cp_b_0

Stephen, If you do buy some Lola Lago books, Make sure you look for the ones with the picture of the Cd on [ bottom right ]. This is what it says on the back of the book:

Nivel A1 Vacaciones al sol

Nivel A2 Una nota falsa
Poderoso Cabeallero
Por amor al arte


Nivel A2+ La llamada de la Habana
Lejos de casa

Nivel B1 ¿Eres tú Maria?


These are the 7 books Stephen, For me there does not seem too much of a difference in the A1 and A2 for understanding, but if you jump up to A2+ and B1 you will see and hear the difference.

Maybe buy one and see what you think, I'm sure then you will buy all of them..!! There really good..
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Old 16th October 2010, 03:20 PM   #10
emmi
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I will vouch for that, LOLA has really helped me and my listening skills. I keep one in the car and have it on all the time, I can practilly tell the whole story word for word now1 LOL!
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Old 16th October 2010, 04:04 PM   #11
daveyboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmi View Post
I will vouch for that, LOLA has really helped me and my listening skills. I keep one in the car and have it on all the time, I can practilly tell the whole story word for word now1 LOL!
Very good emmi, so many people listen to audio books that are way above their level, there the books that the native Spanish people would read / listen too, so your taking super advanced Spanish....

Start off with the Level A 1 and work your way up, poco a poco...
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Old 18th October 2010, 07:58 AM   #12
Ben
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Coming late to the conversation - I'd say the most fundamentally important thing is to listen to things that interest you! Podcasts, films, whatever it may be, if you are not all that interested, it is very hard to be motivated to really listen!

And the best listening practice of all is an intercambio, where you listen to a real person in a real conversation.
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Old 18th October 2010, 10:31 PM   #13
daveyboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Coming late to the conversation - I'd say the most fundamentally important thing is to listen to things that interest you! Podcasts, films, whatever it may be, if you are not all that interested, it is very hard to be motivated to really listen!

And the best listening practice of all is an intercambio, where you listen to a real person in a real conversation.
Yes, very true Ben.!

If your wanting to hear the real Spanish from the streets then Intercambios will give it to you.

If there are none in your area JDan, try downloading Skype then search around for Spanish people [ on learning language forums ] to speak with you, I do it and it's pretty good, if you buy a good head set with built in Mic, the quality is very very good..!!
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Old 27th October 2010, 05:28 PM   #14
travelee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDan View Post
Hi,
I find listening comprehension to be the hardest part of learning Spanish. I try to listen to RNE every day or watch Euronews with Spanish audio, and while I can sometimes get the general gist of what is going on, I never feel confident that I have really understood anything. I find the accents, speed and slang especially difficult to deal with.

I realise that a lot of the subject content in the things I listen to will be way above my current level but I am trying to get used to real Spanish rather than the boring / repetitive conversations we often have in class.

What methods have worked for you?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
Hi! I would like to share the method that works for me with you. I am now in the process of learning Spanish and the development of the listening skills seems the hardest part for me. I think that listening to the native speaker is the best way to improve your listening skills and if this speech is natural but not recorded this will be of great for you. As for me, it works great and gives the very good results.
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