If you are serious about developing your Spanish communication skills, then the one area that you need to focus on — the area hardest to develop — is your Spanish listening comprehension. More importantly, your listening comprehension with regard to native Spanish speakers. It’s one thing to understand phrases or sentences when pronounced slowly and purposefully, such as on learn Spanish CDs, or being able to understand your Spanish teacher, someone you’ve had an opportunity to listen to. It’s another thing to understand spoke Spanish by native speakers in movies, songs, on the street, wherever, especially when they’re speaking at their natural speed and with their natural accent.
To help with your Spanish listening comprehension, I highly recommend the website Yabla Spanish (LoMás TV). Here is a brief description from them:
Yabla Spanish (LoMásTV) is an online video magazine for Spanish learners who wish to improve their language skills. Authentic Spanish videos include television programs, music videos, interviews, documentaries, travel and more. Select from a large library of videos, most running about two or three minutes in length, and be transported to a world of real people from all over the Hispanophone world – Spain, Central America, South America – speaking Spanish in their own unique, unedited voices.
Yabla’s videos cover a wide range of topics: You get authentic TV dramas, documentaries about social issues, profiles of beautiful travel destinations such as Ibiza and Madrid, “man on the street” interviews, and, best of all, lots of music videos. These are the sorts of videos that would be fun to watch in English – in Spanish they are fun as well, but also eye-opening and effortlessly instructive.
Yabla Spanish Features:
- As you watch, you see both the transcript of the original Spanish and translated subtitles below it, allowing you to compare the languages phrase-by-phrase.
- Click on any word and a window pops up with definitions from multiple English-Spanish dictionaries.
- Skip backwards if you want to see a previous phrase again, pause to focus on definitions, or slow down the audio as the video plays in order to practice pronunciation.
- When you’re done watching, play a game to test your memory of the video and your improved instincts for Spanish in context.
- Videos are organized according to category: Action, Documentary, Drama, Interviews, Music, Travel, etc.
- New videos added regularly.
- Special lessons using videos to highlight a grammatical or other point.
- Difficulty ratings of 1 through 5 to facilitate self-directed learning.
- Service costs $9.95 per month, $54.95 for six months or $99.95 for a year (foreign credit cards accepted).
- Teachers and organizations may subscribe entire classes or even entire schools at heavily discounted annual rates.
- Five free demo videos available to view now
Check out their free demo videos and I guarantee you will be hooked. Their technology, allowing you to not only see the transcription in both English and Spanish, also allows you to click on ANY word and immediately see its definition.
Although there are a number of websites with Spanish podcasts, the big difference is with Yabla Spanish, you will get an opportunity to develop your listening skills by listening to a boad spectrum of native Spanish speakers from various countries and with different accents, and who speak at different rates.
Yabla Spanish (LoMás TV) is definitely worth a look and certainly worth 10 minutes of your time.