Self-Teaching Spanish: How to Go Over a Listening Activity?

Self-Teachig: How to Do a Listening Activity?


Predict the content:

If the title of the activity is: “How to draw a dog?” Think of possible vocabulary you might listen in that specific context: “markers”, “dog”, “paper”, “chalk”, “board”… are possible words you can look for in the dictionary before you actually listen. This will help you not only to understand better when you actually listen, but you will also learn a couple of new words you could hear in the listening activity.

Listen (Part 1):

Play the recording for the first time. Pay attention to the context: Is it a conversation? a story? how many people participate? are there background noises that help you figure out the main message of the conversation? Write the words you hear. Make a list. It is not important if the words are disorganized. When you finish listening for the first time, take a look at the words and see if they fit in the context of the audio.

Listen (Part 2) Look for the Ws:

Play the recording again and this time try to focus on the details. Write on a piece of paper the answers to: Who (who is Speaking?), When (Do they mention a time or date?), What (What activities are they talking about?), Why (Why are they talking about that?, are they going to have an event? a meeting?).

Read the Transcript (If available)

Most listening activities will have a transcript of the audio available. If they do, listen to the audio one more time while reading quietly the transcript. See if the words you predicted show up in the text and check as well if the words you understood and wrote down are also part of the text/audio.

Use Your Words.

If you are by yourself and have no learning partner, simply make an abstract of what you heard and understood and tell it in your own words. You can write it down on a piece of paper or try to actually say it and use your voice (or both). This will force you to recycle the vocabulary you already know and use the new one you just heard or learned. It will also allow you to use grammar structures you might not be very comfortable with. If you have a learning partner try talking about what you heard and ask questions back and forth, using the new vocabulary whenever possible. This will help you tremendously with conversation practice.

An Extra Tip:

Record your own voice. Talk about what you heard or even give your own opinion about it and record your voice. Then listen to it (you might not like the sound of your own voice, but it is a great way to get out of your comfort zone). As you listen to it, check your pronunciation, grammar structures. You might notice some mistakes and correct yourself.


What other steps do you take in your listening practice? Do you take similar steps or do anything different?


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Have fun and improve your Spanish listening skills with our interactive activities!  Click here to begin boosting your Spanish listening skills with our engaging and entertaining posts.

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Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.

Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.