Today we are sharing a post from Alla, a guest writer who is an education enthusiast currently working with Preply, an online tutoring company that works in a variety of different areas. Alla knows the importance of language—she already speaks four—and works to help language learners and tutors find each other. She is also dedicated to make online education effective and interesting, something we really believe in! Today Alla is sharing some of her best tips for improving your Spanish speaking and comprehension skills for exams. This is especially important if you are planning on taking a Spanish language certification, like the DELE exam that we talked about in this post. Thank you so much Alla for these awesome tips!
Note: This post is not sponsored by Preply, but we are checking out the services they offer to bring you a review later this month!
Without further ado, we would like to present Alla:
Are you racking your brain over how to practice Spanish for your upcoming exam? Of course, you are—exam preparation is harder than it looks! Especially, when it’s in a language you’ve just started learning.
So, how do you pass that Spanish exam? Well, you study. Admittedly, it’s not as simple as that, but that’s the only appropriate answer. It’s the one you knew to expect and we’re not reinventing the wheel here. You’ll need to study hard to get to where you want.
Now it’s a simple matter of deciding how to study. There’s a lot that will go into your efforts to study for your Spanish exam. But you should never lose sight of your comprehension skills.
1. Why You Should Improve Spanish Listening and Speaking
To pass a Spanish exam, you’ll need to place heavy emphasis on how you study for Spanish. One of the most fundamental aspects of learning any language is honing your comprehension skills; the only way to do that is by incorporating listening exercises. Only then will you have the tools to achieve your goal of fluency and ace that exam.
Listening comprehension and speaking go hand-in-hand. If you want to ensure that your exam preparation is up to par with what you might see on an exam, you’ll want to brush up on these components of the language.
2. How to Improve Your Listening Comprehension and Speech
To improve listening comprehension and practice Spanish speech, you’ll need to incorporate some listening exercises.
Exam preparation always requires a varied and dynamic approach to whatever you’re studying for; that’s what keeps you on your toes and adequately challenged for the task-at-hand.
Here are some good techniques to include in your study regimen if you truly want to pass that Spanish exam. They will encourage you to not only improve Spanish listening skills but also bolster your competency in the language overall—which is exactly what you’ll need to get the mark you desire.
3. Learn the Vocabulary
You can’t expect to comprehend or listen to anything if you have no grasp of the language vocabulary. This is the precursor to everything. It’s what will allow you to begin understanding the language and piece together what you hear and read.
Most importantly, you’ll want to know what these words mean. That way you can begin to assess what you are hearing and even pick up new words based on the context surrounding them.
Do your best to focus a lot of your efforts on bolstering your understanding of the Spanish vocabulary: it will serve as the foundation for everything to come.
4. Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are more than likely an everyday fixture of your life at this point anyway. And if they’re not, they should be!
Podcasts have become a treasure trove of engaging and compelling information. There’s a podcast for every subject, niche, or interest under the sun. And that’s also the case for languages. The podcast craze is just as prevalent with Spanish-speakers as it is with English-speakers.
Much like English, you’ll no doubt be able to find actual Spanish podcasts that not only help bolster your comprehension skills but also address a topic that piques your interest.
On top of that, you’ll also be able to rely on podcasts as a tool in practically every setting. You can have one running in the background at various points throughout the day. That means while you’re working out, cooking a meal, doing yard work, cleaning the house, driving to work, etc. There’s no shortage of down-time in your day where you could listen in to a fascinating podcast.
5. Watch Shows & Movies
Television and film have long served as venerable resources for those looking to learn a new language. It’s not surprising that many newcomers in English-speaking countries take to TV as a way to learn the language.
You, too, could rely on TV and movies in a similar fashion. They’re a fun, engaging way to expose yourself to a foreign language and begin the process of learning it for yourself.
The added help of visual cues and subtitles provides you with an effective teaching aid. And platforms like Netflix will allow you to simultaneously turn on English subtitles as a nifty frame of reference.
6. Practice Listen and Respond Exercises
As important as listening is, it’s equally important to wrap your brain around how to respond to what you’ve just heard. That plays a large part in determining how effective your comprehension skills are and whether or not you truly understood what was said.
Then again, it’s entirely possible for you to understand something but not have the capacity to respond—that’s perfectly fine. However, after a certain point, you should be able to formulate and express your thoughts in response to some else’s.
This is the natural progression towards ultimate fluency. It’s also a great multifaceted exercise to help with studying Spanish in general.
So, if you find yourself adequately prepared to do so, it might be worth your time to not only listen passively but also to respond. Next time you’re listening to the audio of a discussion or debate, try to pause in between points and make an attempt to respond with your unique viewpoint. Try to articulate it in Spanish to the best of your abilities.
7. Read and Study Aloud
A great way to familiarize yourself with what you’re learning— s well as retain it indefinitely—is to study aloud.
Now, in most cases (such as history or geography) you’ll want to write out what you’re studying. But since you’re learning a language, it’s very effective to read things aloud as well. This will allow you to practice speaking and get used to pronunciations.
It will help you to develop the confidence you need to go out there and talk to someone. Studying a language in silence is antithetical to what it means to learn a language. It’d be like learning the fundamentals of bodybuilding without ever lifting a weight.
You need to find small ways to put what you have learned into practice and, ultimately, help to expand your knowledge beyond that as well.
8. Practice Spanish By Talking to Someone
You certainly must have seen this one coming; it shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s the ultimate goal of anyone attempting to learn a new language.
Naturally, the most effective way to initiate a fundamental understanding of any language is to speak it, primarily with some else. This is the truest testing ground there is, and it’ll give you ample opportunity to showcase your progress and look for new ways to improve.
If you can begin to master this component of Spanish, then you should have no problems in your endeavor to pass any given Spanish exam.
If you came into this article completely lost on how to begin your exam preparation, hopefully, you’ll come away from it with a completely renewed sense of confidence and enthusiasm. Comprehension skills are a major part of mastering any language. By working to improve Spanish listening skills, you are greatly expanding the scope of how you can learn.
Now that you have the proper guidance and tools at your disposal, it’s time to practice Spanish in a completely new way and, ultimately, get the mark that you deserve!