If you’re trying to learn Spanish, pronunciation is probably the biggest problem you have. Like every other foreign-language speaker, you don’t have much chance to practice the language unless you visit the country where people speak it natively. If you don’t have that chance, the communication in Spanish is limited to your instructor and classmates. If you’re taking online classes, you’re deprived from that aspect of learning, too.
So how can you learn how to speak Spanish? Skype is one effective tool we can think of. You can connect with native speakers via Facebook and other social media, and start chatting via Skype. Sure; that’s a nice strategy. But what if you’re still not ready to chat with a native? Is there a way to learn how to speak Spanish before taking that extra step? Of course there is!
Today, we’ll talk about learning Spanish by watching Spanish TV channels. You’ll hear the natives speak, and you can freely repeat after them. Don’t worry; you won’t look silly.
There are great Spanish TV shows to watch, and we’re not talking about cheesy telenovela. Hey; if telenovela is your thing, then you should absolutely go for it. The options of good ones to watch are enormous.
If, however, soap opera is not your thing, you can still watch TV shows in Spanish. Here are few great shows to consider:
● El Chavo del Ocho – This is a Mexican TV show, so you should watch it if you want to learn Mexican Spanish. It was made in the 70s, so you can expect natural humor that’s not forced at all. It’s really funny!
● Narcos – You want something more modern? Watch Narcos – a TV show by Netflix. This is Colombian Spanish, so the accent is different when compared to Peninsular Spanish. Keep that to mind when you watch it.
● El Barco – This is a modern show inspired by the global-cataclysm trend. It comes from Spain, so it’s a great choice when you want to learn Peninsular Spanish.
● El Internado – Teenagers love this! It’s a TV show that focuses on the lives of students at a boarding school that’s full of secrets and mysteries.
● Velvet – How about some fashion? This show throws you back to the 50’s in Madrid. It tells you the story of a fashion house that inspires drama, love, and intrigue.
● El Ministerio Del Tiempo – If fantasy is your thing, you’ll love this show. A nurse from the 21st Century, the first female student from the 19th Century, and a warrior from the 16th Century join forces to prevent the Spanish history from being influenced by time travelers.
● La Fuga – Maria Valverde is one of the most popular Spanish actresses at the moment, so that’s a reason enough to watch this show. Other than that, it’s about a version of our close future, where dictatorship rules the world.
TV shows are great because you can watch them in your free time. You can play an episode whenever you want to, and you’ll keep pace with the development of events. Does that mean you should ditch TV channels? No; not if you really want to learn Spanish.
TV channels are good because the presenters speak the standardized language, which is not influenced by any dialects. That’s the type of speech you should focus on. If you learn how to speak standardized Spanish, you’ll be able to communicate with anyone who speaks Spanish. If you learn a dialect, you’ll have troubles communicating with people who speak another dialect.
So what Spanish TV channels should you watch?
Spanish TV is very entertaining, and it keeps you focused because you don’t have to watch an entire movie. You’ll watch as much as you want to, and you can easily squeeze this habit in your daily routine.
This is where the real work begins. When you’re focused on learning how to speak Spanish, watching TV shows is not enough.
Corinne Rodriguez, a writer and polyglot from Essay Geeks, explains: “Your TV time should become your immersion time. To get the most out of these efforts, you should try speaking and thinking in Spanish as you watch. First, start repeating what the actors or TV personalities say. You’ll speak while doing that. As you keep getting better, you’ll slowly get to the thinking in Spanish stage. That’s when you can say you’re really learning.”
Learning Spanish demands a lot of effort. You have to commit to a systemized schedule that takes you throughout the learning process step by step. Watching TV is easy, so you won’t have much trouble to implement that practice into your daily routine.
When you turn it into a habit, you’ll be getting daily doses of Spanish lessons without even noticing.
It’s time to bring TV back into the game. Spanish shows and TV channels are really fun to watch, so you’ll definitely have a good time while learning.
Chris Richardson is a journalist, editor, and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new outgoing people. Chris is also fond of travelling, sports, and playing the guitar. Follow him on Google+.