Living in a country without a Spanish language environment? Struggling to take your Spanish learning to the next level? Sometimes learning doesn’t have to be in the classroom, especially for learning a language.

As a native Chinese speaker, I struggled with English when I was learning it too. But watching TV shows from the US and the UK played a major role in improving my English. The same is true for learning Spanish. As the second most widely spoken language in the world, Spain and Latin American countries have produced many excellent shows. By watching TV shows, we can not only improve our listening skills and expand our vocabulary but also learn some cultural facts such as the history and authentic expressions. Most importantly, this is a fun way to help you learn and improve your language skills without even noticing.

But how do you go about watching a show in another language? Do you just watch hoping to pick up some expressions along the way? Or is there a better method? Here’s how to get the most out of watching Spanish TV shows.

  • Use Spanish audio and subtitles

You can use English subtitles at first, and then as you get better use the Spanish subtitles so you can read and listen to Spanish at the same time. This will allow you to notice new vocabulary and expressions, and may also help you to figure out what’s going on.

  • Eliminate the distractions around you

If you can’t hear the show well, you probably won’t understand it all that much. You need to be focused on what’s being said. If you aren’t focusing on the audio and subtitles, and instead, checking Facebook then chances are you won’t get much out of it.

  • Pause and rewind the shows

If there is something important that you don’t want to miss or a phrase that you want to hear spoken again, why not hit the rewind button? Pause it if you want to look up a common word that keeps coming up. This doesn’t mean that you should stop every moment when you don’t understand a word, but if something continues to show up repeatedly, look it up.

  • Don’t stress the details

Even if you do watch something 10 times, don’t stress yourself out trying to remember every single thing you hear. Pick out phrases you think might be useful at a later date and write them down. Try not to overload yourself with a long list of words that you probably won’t be able to remember.

  • Rewatch, rewatch, rewatch.

Love a TV show so much? Feel free to rewatch it again. After all, the key to learning a language is repetition. It’s impossible to remember every single line, even if there are some excellent expressions. So why not watch it again?

It is a long process to practice Spanish by watching TV shows. Therefore, you will need patience and perseverance. Believe in yourself, be persistent, and you will certainly improve. And don’t miss out on reading our next blog where we will present our selection of the 10 TV shows that are most helpful for Spanish learning.

Calvin Chen

Calvin has an international education background. He has studied in China, the United Kingdom, and the United States, which exposed him to various types of cultures, customs, and language differences. He supports the public relations and marketing efforts at Diáfano, an education company responsible for the design and implementation of corporate-level Spanish classes and programs through the Diáfano Method. His ultimate dream is to become a “living bridge” between America and China and contribute to cultural exchanges. Check him out at www.diafanomethod.com.

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