“Hearing tells you that music is playing, but listening tells you what the song is saying. There are times that we hear but we forget to listen…”—Unknown
Listening is the key to understanding any language—including Spanish.
The good news is that the more effort you put into listening practice, the less you’ll find yourself facing those pesky “huh?” moments—also known as the frustrating points where you’re wracking your brain to pick up the conversational thread you’ve dropped.
Power up your Spanish listening practice and suddenly you’ll realize that you don’t feel lost in conversations, while watching Spanish films or while listening to the latest music from Madrid.
Listening skills can help you with all of this, and much more.
By listening, you’re absorbing language rules, pronunciation information and more nuanced details. And the more you listen, the better you’ll be able to communicate—and that’s pretty much the goal of learning a language, isn’t it? We all want to communicate!
There are tons of super options for Spanish listening practice and, if you’re really serious about learning Spanish, you should be practicing your listening skills on a daily basis.
I can almost hear you groan. You think all this listening sounds dull, don’t you? But take it from me, that’s not so!
Many of these resources are wonderfully engaging—and none of them rate high on the Ho-hum Scale, I promise!
The truth is that you might get so hooked on listening that you’ll forget it’s part of your course work. It’ll be just an important activity you enjoy—while you reap the benefits of enhanced language ability.
Let’s check out some excellent listening practice options!
10+ Spanish Listening Practice Options for Tuning Your Ears to the Language
As a learner, you should choose level-appropriate materials, especially in the early days of a Spanish program. Beginners might get discouraged by attempting to listen to a fast-paced, intricate dialogue.
It’s better to choose something suited to your current level of proficiency. Challenge yourself, by all means, but don’t choose practice material that’s beyond your capabilities.
And if you see something that makes you smile, investigate that resource. Learning should be fun!
These resources for learners are all suitable for all levels of learner, from beginning to advanced.
Lawless Spanish provides interesting and informative Spanish listening practice through short videos and audio files.
Each practice session includes a transcript with a side-by-side English translation. Additionally, just beneath the translation, you’ll find learning material that’ll deepen your understanding of the language. Extras such as grammar tidbits and cultural points of interest relevant to the video or audio are included to this bonus section.
Learners can take a quiz to see where they fall on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. So if you’re wondering what level learner you are, take the quiz and find out.
Materials are divided by learning level, from A1 to C2, so it’s a snap to find appropriate listening practice for your skill level. The topics vary, featuring everything from conversations about everyday activities to popular songs, and there’s a solid assortment to choose from so every learner should find something of interest.
Honestly, the real issue might be choosing one to listen to: You might just binge listen to them all!
FluentU delivers authentic content to learners in the form of curated videos. Movie trailers, music videos, news segments, inspiring talks and other real-world videos bring Spanish to life!
The site brings immersion to learners with entertaining, informative and relevant material. And while it’s great to go abroad to deepen language skills, FluentU allows learners to keep their passports tucked away—while learning in an immersive manner.
Listening practice is one of this site’s strong points. Videos are exercises in listening! And these are so engaging that they’ll feel more like treats than lessons.
Translated and interactive subtitles eliminate the uncertainty associated with unfamiliar vocabulary. Example sentences and definitions virtually ensure that learners will comprehend every bit of the dialogue and not miss any of the action, while quizzes and flashcards allow learners to push their learning to the next level.
Listening to the native speakers in these videos will give you the opportunity to get a feel for cadence, pronunciation and even idioms of the Spanish language.
Best of all, you can take FluentU on the go with the app for iOS or Android devices. And since new content is always being added, you’ll have an endless supply of Spanish listening practice materials right at your fingertips!
MyLanguageExchange.com has a few different options for learners. For instance, there’s a penpal feature that’s great if you need some writing practice or even a bit of extra time to accurately compose your thoughts.
But authentic conversations are the big draws of this site! The program provides a fun, interactive way to get some listening practice with a native speaker, right from home.
Join a practice group (or form your own), choose one of the supplied lesson plans and begin listening! The live conversations take place either face-to-face (if every participant lives in the same area) or, more frequently, using voice chat.
It’s the ideal opportunity to speak with native Spanish speakers. Group members take turns speaking and leading discussions and give gentle corrections regarding pronunciation, grammar points and other issues.
This blog has a few listening lessons which cover some ordinary situations. They’re accompanied by transcripts to the conversations so learners can see what’s being said, in addition to listening to the words.
As the lessons progress, the coursework increases in difficulty. This is a great refresher on the fundamentals!
This website is an interesting resource for listening practice that features a wide range of Spanish listening practice option. There are videos from five different Spanish-speaking countries which means that there’s plenty of diversity among the native speakers.
Not every Spanish speaker sounds the same, and location affects accents and idioms, so this listening resource is a good one. Who knows? You might hear a new dialect and fall in love with the sound!
Speechling offers listening modules for Spanish learners from basic to advanced levels.
This is a very easy resource to use. Choose a level or a topic from their phrasebook to begin. If you want to customize playback options, scroll down on the homepage to set preferences on the speaker’s gender, how fast the dialogue plays and a few other details.
There are quizzes to accompany the listening modules, so it’s a snap for learners to gauge their progress!
YouTube delivers tons of options for Spanish listening practice. Yes, there are all those cute videos of fluffy kittens doing sweet things, but beyond that, this site has so much to offer language learners.
Below is just a sampling of the types of excellent listening resources you can find on YouTube:
This video by SpanishPod101 is perfect for beginners. The vocabulary is fairly uncomplicated, so even new learners will comprehend what’s going on. Dialogues are spoken, then appear written out in full on the screen, so if you miss a word or wonder about how something is spelled, you can easily find that information.
A fabulous feature of this video is the way everything is illustrated. Pictures accompany the questions referencing the dialogues, so if you’re a visual learner who might need a boost to figure out the proper responses, this video’s got your back.
Like the video? You can find tons more over at the SpanishPod101 website, as well as additional learning goodies like transcripts, grammar and vocab notes, flashcards and more.
This one covers a few topics not generally seen in other resources, like emotions. Also, information delivery is straightforward: listen, see the dialogue in Spanish, then see the English translation. Totally uncomplicated but very useful!
NachoTimeSpanish is a channel that focuses on taking learners from the intermediate to the advanced level. The material is a lot more complicated and it’s an effective resource for leveling up.
This particular video is a fun one to watch because the subtitles are in Spanish, rather than English! This is a great addition to any intermediate learner’s Spanish listening practice routine.
Spanish Television and News
Spanish television provides endless listening practice options!
This one hits all the headlines, sports news and cultural events. I turn this on at least once a day just to hear the headlines.
This news and entertainment channel from Spain is a fine choice when language skills hit an intermediate or advanced level. Entertainment news, talk shows, cultural points of interest and much more are offered with Telecinco.
Beware, though, that some of the talk shows feature fast-speaking guests! Listening challenge? Definitely. Beneficial to learners? Very!
Spanish podcasts are listening practice gold. I always have a few downloaded on my device, in case I’m stuck somewhere without internet access. I recommend that you do the same!
Spanish Obsessed offers a number of podcasts (and courses) for Spanish learners.
Puntos de Vista (Points of View), for instance, is a weekly podcast that looks at current events and news stories.
Each episode consists of an explanation of the event or news, followed by a discussion of the topic at hand. The material is engaging and informative!
Nómadas is an incredible resource, especially if you’re a travel enthusiast. I admit that I’m always ready to grab my passport and go, so this site is always open on my phone.
The podcasts are all about travel and they’re wonderfully engaging, informative and entertaining. You can learn so much listening to these podcasts!
One of the best things about this podcast is that the content is updated frequently. Every week, you can check in to hear and discover new things—all while keeping your Spanish listening skills on track. What’s not to love?
Spanish listening practice is crucial to anyone interested in communicating in Spanish.
Include daily listening practice in your learning program to increase comprehension and achieve fluency in this beautiful language.
Good luck—and have fun!
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