Should you listen to slow audio in Spanish?

Today, I want to share a very interesting article that I read about using slow audio to learn Spanish.

When we are learning a foreign language, almost all of us complain about one thing:

“Native speakers talk too fast!”

If you thought this complaint was made only by English speakers who try to learn Spanish, you are wrong!

This also happens to Spanish speakers who learn English.

Yes! the problem is not Latinos. Instead of that, this problem is just part of your language learning journey.

Just face it, in the beginning, natural spoken Spanish is just hard to understand.

If natural Spanish is hard to understand, should you use slow audio?

Not at all, according to polyglot Olly Richards, you may think that spoken Spanish is hard to understand because you are probably used to how textbooks present you the language.

And the truth is that real Spanish is very different to textbooks because:

  • Textbooks are simplified.
  • Audio that comes along with textbooks is mostly spoken by professional voice actors.
  • It is very likely that textbooks present you slow audio without grammar mistakes, clear, and accurate pronunciation.

Bottom line is, you could have learned textbook Spanish, instead of real Spanish.

In his article, Olly suggests that you might not understand real Spanish because of another reason: You simply don’t know the vocabulary that you are trying to listen!

The sad thing is that students often think that listening is their problem. However, in reality, their problem is just vocabulary.

Take the most out of real spoken Spanish, and avoid slow audio.

In his article, Olly suggests two rules to use when listening to Spanish at a natural speed (Of course I’m talking about natural and real spoke Spanish material for learners):

  1. Listen to material that goes according to your level (Comprehensible input)
  2. Read the transcription of what you listen so you can see everything that is being said.

If you’ve been struggling to understand spoken Spanish from your study material, I suggest you read the full Olly Richard’s article:

I Stopped Listening To Slow Audio…So Should You! (Here’s Why)

By the way… What do you use to improve your listening skills? Answer and let me know in the comments below.

Note: If you are currently looking to improve your listening skills, click here and check out my Intensive Spanish Listening Course.

Diego Cuadros is a blogger and a Spanish online teacher. He uses stories to help Spanish lovers understand fast-speaking native speakers, so they don't freeze and panic in conversations.

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