A Short Guide for Improving Spanish Listening Comprehension

Hola and welcome to this guide on how to use the resources in SpanishLearningLab to practice Spanish listening and improve this skill along with others. We will discuss how the lessons are structured and give you some tips that will certainly help you learn Spanish online faster and get the best of our content. Let’s start…

Learn how to use free resources to practice Spanish listening
Mejorando tu habilidad de escuchar español

First, practice Spanish listening with sentences…

Perhaps you have already noticed that we often provide lists of common words for each of the topics, from basic introductions to things like talking about daily routines. We believe that learning just words without context is not enough. That is why you will often see the vocabulary used in sentences or questions, the way native speakers would use them in real situations. As you can see in the picture below, you can practice Spanish listening with the audio player included in most examples.

Spanish Listening Practice resources
Ejemplos de oraciones con audio

All these sentences are recorded by Spanish native speakers using a more “standard” version of the language. The sentences with audio are of great help to practice pronunciation, as well as a warm-up listening activity. Also, some of these sentences are actually lines of the main conversation in the lesson, and more importantly, they reflect things that you would hear in real life.

Grammar and Spanish listening comprehension

Spanish grammar is really complicated, even for native speakers. However, you can easily learn grammar by focusing on little details about verbs, adjectives and other parts of speech. We think that knowing both the basic structure of sentences and how to use regular and irregular verbs is already a great step for basic Spanish. Most likely, if you do not know what a sentence like “Voy al cine” says when you read it, chances are that you will not be able to understand it in a listening activity. That is the reason why we focus on providing sentences instead of list of words, so that you can practice Spanish listening and also see some basic grammatical structures in use.

Fortunately, every lesson includes simple explanations on the basic grammar you need to understand the examples provided and to create your own. By knowing how the examples work, you can easily understand small variations later in other Spanish listening comprehension activities in the lesson.

Practice listening to Spanish conversations and solving quizzes

The main Spanish Listening Activity

Some of the free lessons on the website include lots of sentences focusing on specific words or grammatical structures. Other lessons will not necessarily show a list of sentences, but instead they will provide examples of short Spanish conversations using the vocabulary in real contexts. When we write the sample sentences and conversations, we make sure to include the key vocabulary about the topic. Thus, all the examples provided and the explanations will lead you to easily understand the main Spanish listening activity.

The main conversation will often include a couple of new conversational phrases from previous topics and sometimes new expressions you should know about. These phrases are written in a little box just before the audio player.

Quizzes and Conversations for Spanish listening practice
Escuchando en Spanish Learning Lab

Some of the conversations are fast whereas others are slow. However, they do resemble real life conversations and if you cannot understand what you hear, you can always pause or replay using the controls in the audio player. These recordings are often short, less than 1 minute in some cases, so you definitely should spend some time in them. As a last resource, if you cannot understand the recording after trying for some time, you can check the audio script.

Advice on the Spanish listening quiz

We would not recommend you to read the script before attempting to solve the Spanish listening quiz. You wouldn’t be practicing Spanish listening if you read the script first. That is because in order to improve your listening comprehension, or your ability to listen in any other language, you must progressively challenge yourself to listen audio with different speeds and accents. One more last advice, make sure you listen to a recording until you fully understand what is being said, no matter if you have already finished the lesson or solved the exercises your teacher asked you to do.

Learning Spanish, just like learning any other language, requires a lot of work, particularly because there are many accents and ways to say things, so working a little extra will benefit you a lot. We hope you find our website useful for practicing Spanish listening as this is why this site was created, to provide good quality resources to improve Spanish listening comprehension. Remember you can leave your comments on each lesson so we can improve too and give you a better experience.¡Buena suerte aprendiendo a escuchar en español! ¡Hasta pronto!

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