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#7: How To Improve Your Listening Comprehension (English)
Spanish in the Workplace
Weekly podcast for professionals looking to speak better Spanish at work in order to create more money, more clients, more career opportunities.
Hello! Welcome to Spanish in the workplace. The podcast for professionals looking
to speak better Spanish at work in order to create more money, more clients, more career opportunities.
My name is Anna Torre and I'm an actor, writer and Spanish teacher and I'm going to show you
exactly how to speak Spanish more confidently in high precious situations.
Well, I hope you're having an amazing day when I'll be listening to this.
Today, I want to talk about listening comprehension. I see a lot of Spanish students complain
about the fact that despite doing digital work every day, in listening to hours and hours
of Spanish content, be it podcasts, videos or TV shows, they still can't understand almost anything.
Students very quickly start to become discouraged and many wonder,
what is the best way to improve or if they will indeed ever improve at all?
You might think that I'm talking about beginners and in a way, I am.
But I see this often in the intermediate plateau and that is a place where a lot of people tend to
give up. So, if you find yourself in this position, what can you do about it?
The key to improving your listening comprehension is to find input you do understand at least 60
to 80 percent of the time. Some people want to run before they can walk and I am telling you
that when it comes to language learning, the key to success is patience. This is a marathon,
not a sprint. So, let's break it down into steps. Step 1. The first thing you need to do
is find content you do understand for the most part and listen to that. Not only will this
help your confidence, it will show you that even though it might not always feel like is,
you are in fact making progress. It is important that you look for content that you find
interesting. If it's just some boring text book a recording, my guess is that your motivation
will plummet fairly quickly. Finding material you enjoy consuming is key. There are podcasts made
for this purpose, like using slow Spanish, and you also have the option of playing audio
a half speed sometimes if you want to try content with a more native speed. Listening and then
really listening at different speeds can be a great exercise as well. Step 2. To begin with,
I would recommend that you look for resources where you can get a transcript of what you're listening
to. That way you can print them out and mark them. You could note down things like
silent letters or intonation or places where the speaker merged words together. Being able
to visualize a sound spoken can be great help at recalling them later, so I would recommend not
skipping this part of possible. Step 3. It is important that you don't try and understand
every single word. If you can get the gist of what's going on, that is great progress.
I am telling you, as a native speaker, I don't understand every single word in the Spanish language,
many times in conversation I just give the gist and move on. That might sound mind blowing
to some people, but think about it. Do you understand every single word in your native language
all of the time? My guess is no. They don't ever stop you from having a conversation. My guess
is no. So why do you put on yourself these unachievable standards when it comes to your Spanish
learning? If you focus on the big picture, you'll get better faster and you will save yourself
a lot of frustration. I promise. Step 4. Once you've listened to the audio, write down what it was
about, and if there are several speakers, write down their names. If you keep hearing a word
you don't understand, write it down so you can look it up later. If you find a phrase that is
interesting to you, try to write it down so you can use it in conversation later. Once you
feel you're understanding 90% enough you can move to more difficult content, but again don't go from
something that is beginning a level to native. It won't work and it will destroy your confidence.
So be smart and take baby steps. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, the turtle won the race
and all that. Those sayings exist for a reason. Step 6. Celebrate. This is a crucial step for me.
It is so easy to discount our progress sometimes, especially if we're not
anywhere near the goal that we want to achieve. It is important that you celebrate your wins
however small they might be and give yourself a reward. If you do, it will train your
brain to perceive learning Spanish as fun and that will make things so much easier. So, after you
sit down to listen to an order for five minutes, you should do a little dance or give yourself
a treat or a pat on the back. Whatever it might be, if you celebrate the load will get lighter.
So, why not give it a go? That's all I got for you today. If you have any questions,
please do get in touch. That's all I've brought, Seema.
Thank you so much for listening. If you're ready to take your Spanish to the next level,
follow the link in my show notes to book a free consultation. Have an amazing day.
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