How to Learn Spanish? Listen to Spanish!

Published: 12th March 2009
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Spanish immersion classes that take place in Spanish-speaking countries have the advantage that the students are surrounded by the language everywhere they go. But you can imitate part of their method to learn Spanish without having the time or money for such a trip.

How? Just listen to Spanish. Work it into your daily life:

  • There may be a Spanish-language radio station you can listen to in your car.

  • Perhaps you get a Spanish channel with your television programming.

  • Put Spanish songs or podcasts into your mp3 or CD player.

  • Explore the many ways to listen to Spanish on the internet.

  • If you live in a community with a lot of Spanish speakers, go to where they gather.

"But this isn't going to teach me the vocabulary I need," you could argue. And I would agree. Listening to Spanish is just one of what I call the five keys to learning Spanish rapidly.

Listening is important, though, whether you are a total beginner at Spanish or more advanced. Why? Because simply hearing the language helps your brain to be able to absorb it. There are unfamiliar sounds and speech rhythms in any foreign language. Recent research has shown that listening sets up neural structures in your brain, pathways that are necessary for you to learn and remember words.

Even if you can't understand the Spanish words you are hearing, this effect is taking place. You can be listening to words or songs -- either one will have the beneficial effect.

More about Each Way to Listen to Spanish

(1)IN YOUR CAR: If you like to have a CD or radio station playing in your car while driving, why not make it in Spanish? There are so many choices of CDs with Mexican singers as well as ones from other countries. Depending on your mood and maybe on the traffic, you can choose soothing or lively music, love songs or Gospel -- or a mix of all these on one CD. Or explore your radio dial for any programming in Spanish that you may have never noticed before.

(2)ON TELEVISION: You may have access to Spanish programming with your cable or satellite package. You could watch sports that you like in Spanish, or the television soap operas called "telenovelas." I've used the soap operas for improving my own Spanish. The characters often talk very fast and use a lot of slang, but believe me, you will understand most of the plot. The emotions and situations displayed are universal!

(3)MP3 OR CD PLAYERS: Ipods and other mp3 players are so convenient and lightweight that you could listen to Spanish a lot with one.

(4)THE INTERNET: There are so many choices online, from free sites like YouTube to ones that are really designed to help you learn Spanish by listening. Often these sites will combine listening exercises (at various levels of difficulty) with vocabulary and some grammar. On my website on how to learn Spanish rapidly, I review some of these sites.

(5)BEING AROUND SPANISH-SPEAKERS: If this is any easy option for you, there is an immediacy and reality to hearing Spanish around you.

How Much Listening is Enough?

There is no "too much" with this method. However much you can include listening to Spanish in your daily routines will be beneficial. As your level of comprehension improves, it will be even more enjoyable to listen. Also, listening will motivate you to do some of the other things that will get you speaking Spanish.

There's no reason you should be frustrated if you aren't yet speaking Spanish like you want to be. Visit my website to get the information you need to speak Spanish. I offer a free ebook, Five Keys to Learning Spanish Rapidly. Join the many people who have already been helped, and do take a look at the website now.

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