When learning a foreign language, one of the most difficult skills to master is speaking and conversation, which happens to be the most important part of using the language in every day life. In this blog post we will look at 5 ways you can easily improve your speaking in Spanish:
When speaking and having a conversation you are also listening to what the other person is saying, so if you want to good speaking skills, it makes sense that you also need good to be good at listening. The best way to improve your listening and speaking is to use the shadowing technique. The idea is to listen to some audio and repeat it yourself at the same time. You can find audio on Glossika, Spanishpod101, Youtube, podcasts, etc
To learn more about shadowing watch this video by Professor Alexander Arguelles on Youtube:
You can record yourself regularly easily on your phone or computer and listen back to it to see how you sound and where you need to improve.
Vocaroo is a great online tool to do this.Sometimes you may not always spot where you are going wrong, so if you can, send your recording to a native speaker or a tutor to check and for their feedback.
Once you feel a bit more confident about your speaking after practising on your own and listening to how you sound, the next step is to speak to other people. You can do this either online or face-to-face.
This is when you meet up, either face-to-face or online with a native speaker of the language you are learning. They are also learning your native language so it is the ideal situation to help each other progress. You spend half the time speaking in one language and half the time in the other. It may be better to wait until you reach a certain level before you attempt this though.
Conversation Exchange – You can either post an advert or browse adverts to find someone with similar interests to yours. You can start off by emailing or chatting online and if your partner lives locally you can meet up later on.
My Language Exchange – You can find a penpal here, language tutor or language exchange partner.
WeSpeke – the good thing here is that potential language exchange partners are shown to you according to similar interests.
italki – here you can find both tutors and language exchange partners.
TIP: When you first set up a language exchange partner, make sure you are both clear about what level you are each at and how you want to improve.
Meetup: You can search for local groups that meet up to practise Spanish or if you can’t find one near enough to you, you can also set up your own group.
Search on facebook for groups that are practising Spanish. They may arrange local meet up groups that you could join.
There is no better way to practise speaking a foreign language than being in the country surrounded by native speakers. Better than that – if you can stay with native speakers you will have to speak the language every day.One of the easiest way to do this is by using Couchsurfing – as it allows you to meet people all over the world and stay with them for free.
My Hospitality: – connects you with people who are looking for people to host as well as do a language exchange with. The good thing is this site is aimed at people learning Spanish and English!
You could also do some voluntary work in a South American country which would be a great way to do something worthwhile and practise your Spanish at the same time. One site that helps you arrange this is: Volunteer Latin America: You combine volunteer work and support local charities as well as learn the language by speaking to locals. You can even get discounted Spanish lessons. This is aimed at under 18s and families.
Volunteer World: – Work for a good cause and brush up your Spanish at the same time – perfecto! You can choose your project; community, education, animals and welfare, environment, health.
You are normally placed in a group of people of a similar level as you. You do a mixture of language lessons, project work as well as cultural trips and activities to get to know the local customs and people as well as the language.
Cervantes School – have schools located all over the Spanish-speaking world.
Lightspeed Spanish – Madrid based
Have a browse on this website for ideas if this is something you are thinking about doing in the next couple of years:
“Best Intensive Spanish Immersion Programs for 2018-2019.”
You may gain some inspiration from this article, “The 12 Best Spanish Immersion Programs Worldwide.”
One thing that will definitely make you a better Spanish speaker is if you improve your pronunciation. Here are some great tools to help you do just that.
Rhinospike – it is brilliant to hear some written text spoken out loud. All you do is submit some text that you want read out in Spanish. A native speaker will then record it for you. Or you can submit audio that you would like the written text of.
Forvo is good for hearing the pronunciation of single words. You can also get multiple recordings to compare voices.
How To Pronounce – pronounces a word in Spanish. You can then record your own voice and play it back to see how you sound.
Hopefully there is something here you like the sound of that you don’t mind trying out to help improve speaking in Spanish!