One of the hardest things in language learning is not speaking, but listening. When you try to speak in a foreign language, at least you know what you’re trying to say. However, when someone speaks to you in a foreign language, you don’t know what they’re going to say. In order to listen effectively, one has to have a very good grasp of the language, but it’s a process.
Earlier in this year, I went to a Spanish church 4 weeks in a row, and I had the worst level of comprehension on the fourth time I went. My language motivational partner encouraged me, and she shared with me the stages of listening comprehension, which I think is a very valuable resource for anyone who is trying to listen to a foreign language but doesn’t understand everything.
You can find out more about the stages of listening comprehension at the 7:03 mark in my podcast, and you can find out more about my language motivational partner 5 minutes and 18 seconds into the podcast at Language Learning at a Spanish Church pt 2 | Listening Comprehension Stages - YouTube
Nice post! Interesting, I found myself in a Spanish speaking church in Panama. I’m happy to report my Spanish is at a level where I can understand nearly everything. That is if I’m being mindful.
Very interesting characterization of comprehension levels. I really can relate
Awesome! Congratulations on getting to that level! What has helped you the most with your Spanish comprehension?
I’m glad you found Connie Warner’s stages of listening comprehension helpful. She actually had just written them down to encourage me because she’s my language motivational partner, but I thought more people needed to get the benefit of what she shared with me.
Actually, Justin, I read your profile, so I understand more of how you’ve gotten to this high level of comprehension with Spanish. I was born in Florida, and I lived there for the first 19 years of my life.
My goal is to read 12 books in Spanish this year, mainly with LingQ, and I’m sure I’m going to be listening a lot to things in Spanish as well.
keep it up seems your on the right track i’m doing the same thing with my french hope to bring it up to my spanish and english
Thank you very much for this podcast. I have been beating myself up over the fact that my listening in Mandarin is not as good as I want it to be, and hearing about other people’s struggles makes me realise that I am not alone and that it is totally normal.
Like you said, I also have to remind myself of the small things: sometimes I will open a random Mandarin YouTube video and understand more than I thought I would. Those moments always blow my mind! I love it!
Your podcast helped re-motivate me to get back into listening and never give up on my language learning marathon
Awesome Edwin! I’m glad you found it helpful. I haven’t exactly counted up all of my hours with Spanish, but I should finish with my my first 1,000 hours of my language learning marathon with Spanish sometime this year. I make no attempt on First1000Hours.com to position myself as a language learning expert because I’m not, and I want to be real both online and offline. If anything, I’m an “expert” in making mistakes, and on different occasions I’ve made a point of taking about my mistakes because I’ve thought that this would be the type of content I would like to listen to. I appreciate watching videos of those who have already attained high heights in their language learning marathons, but I also like hearing people’s stories of the mindset they’ve had to overcome challenges in language learning.
I’m glad that you’re on LingQ and watching Chinese YouTube videos. I’m also really excited for you that you’re motivated to continue your language learning journey with Mandarin!
I can guarantee you 100% that your understanding of Mandarin is better than mine!!