Use Adapted Spanish to Improve your Listening
When learning Spanish as a beginner, it is always tempting to watch Spanish movies and television series. This is great for those who have been studying Spanish for some time (pre-Intermediate learners and above), but if you are just starting out, it is doubtful that you will get much out of this. Once you have got to a level to understand part or all of what is being said then you will get a lot of enjoyment and learning out of it. But for now it is better to use different resources to improve your listening.
Listening is a very difficult Spanish skill; words come and go very quickly, using different constructions and vocabulary with different dialects and pronuncation. During normal speech, you are not afforded the time to think about what was said and instead have to process the information as quickly as possible. This skill can be improved through a variety of different listening exercises.
Using an Audio Course from the Beginning
A Spanish audio course is one of the best options for beginners. These audio courses get you listening to the Spanish words right from the start. The words are usually broken up into different sounds, with prompts given for repeating, so that you grow accustomed to these different sounds from the beginning. Some come with a phrase book but others solely rely on you getting used to the different sounds before seeing them written down.
Useful Online Resources and Books
With more and more students choosing to learn Spanish online, there has been a large growth of different online resources, including those that allow you to improve your Spanish listening according to your level. Most resources are grouped by topic, level and even country. There are lots of different reference websites, especially if you are looking to improve your Spanish conjugations. If you are learning Spanish to move to Spain then you want to concentrate on Spanish from that region. This gets more important the more you progress. These websites can easily be found through google.
Every Spanish course book has listening components which are usually done in lessons, while some Spanish books are completely dedicated to listening exercises. Then there are Spanish readers that also have audio, giving you the chance to listen to Spanish stories adapted for different levels.
As you progress you will want to expose yourself more and more to real Spanish. If you live in a Spanish-speaking country this will not be difficult at all, in fact, it will be hard to miss it. For those who don't, there are still many different ways that you can expose yourself to real Spanish. Certain Spanish television channels stream their shows online, which also goes for radio shows. Spanish movies are easy to find online and are very enjoyable as well as being a great exercise in listening.
Listening as Part of you Learning
Doing Spanish listening practice as part of your overall learning will improve your ability to understand Spanish speakers, and when you get to a good level, you will see a whole new exciting Spanish world opening up for you.