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.
Using subtitle is an amazing tool for us to learn the language when watching the show. It will allow you to notice the vocabulary and expression, and may also help you understand the narrative. You can use English subtitles at first, but keep in mind that you should pay attention to the Spanish. And then when you get better, you can change it to Spanish subtitles.
I understand that watching TV shows sometimes is just a background sounding while you’re multitasking such as cooking or working out. However, if we want to learn something out of it, we should focus on what the characters are saying, and avoid the distractions around us.
It’s pretty obvious that you are unable to understand everything even with the subtitles. Therefore, if you find something interesting, or has been appearing again and again, why not hit the rewind button? This doesn’t mean that you should pause the show every moment, but if something keeps showing up, look it up.
This seems to be contrary to the previous point, but it is not. There are many slangs in TV shows, which can only be understood by local people or who know the local culture well. As a Spanish learner, there is no need to entangle these. Focus on the expressions that you think may be useful in the future.
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.
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Irma is a trained linguist, native Spanish speaker, and teacher. She is the founder and CEO of Diáfano.
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