Last week we gave you a few suggestions about how to enrich your knowledge of the Spanish language. Here are a few more ideas that we hope will be of use.
6. Listen to Spanish radio
Thanks to the internet, we can now tune in to any foreign radio channel as long as we have a connection. Even if you don’t understand the contents, words will enter into your subconcious, and as your comprehension improves, so will your awareness of current affairs, arts, music and culture in hispanic countries. This sight has links to many Latin American radio channels, whereas here you can find the Spanish national radio (RNE) and many regional radio stations.
7. Shadow podcasts
A great way to improve your oral skills is to shadow a native speaker. Shadowing means listening to someone speak and almost simultaneously copying their every word. This is so easy it almost feels like cheating, but you will find that if you do this for even 15 minutes you will feel much more confident in the spoken language. Podcasts for beginner, intermediate, advanced and proficient levels can be easily found on line and are more than often about very interesting topics.
There is nothing like friendship for inspiring confidence with a language. Your friends will tell you jokes, listen to your semi-coherent attempts at conversation, even make fun of your mistakes, but it’s a safe place where you will also learn words and expressions that never come up in the classroom. If you have hispanic friends, keep them; if you don’t, make them!
9. Copy texts
This may sound old-fashioned (and perhaps bring back painful memories to some of us) but copying out by hand correct Spanish is a brilliant way to improve your written work. It enters your brain and travels through your body, out your hand and on to paper – you process it – and so you remember! If you are looking for materials to copy, this website has links to numerous on-line newspapers from all over South America and Spain, great reading!
10. Learn about ham
Jamón is sacred in Spain and there are certain things one needs to know about it if we are to feel more Spanish, and of course, not offend our Spanish friends! As an example, “Iberico” means ham from a special pig that can only be found in Spain, ham needs to be out of the fridge for a few hours before you eat it; not just anyone can cut ham, you have to really know how, you can even pay big money to sit a course on ham cutting…. in conclusion, ham is important, get to know it!