After years of being inconsistent, I am ready to make some serious progress with my Spanish. My reading has improved drastically , in the last 6 months, but I am still having a hard time understanding conversations. Any help and advice would be much appreciated.
A sus ordenes, caballero!
As you might have guessed, reading is the most important activity and gives the most “bang for the buck” in terms of learning activity. With reading comes vocabulary aquisition and seeing the language in action. Once you have the words and can understand what you read, you have to potential to understand what is being. I say “potential to undetstand” because you still have to automatically associate the words you know with what they sound like when spoken, and at the speed at which they are naturally spoken. That happens after listening hundreds of hours of native Spanish content. Even when I had 20,000+ known words, and my reading ability was very good, I still had some trouble with spoken Spanish–especially at native speed. I noticed that after about 400 hours of listening, ability to understand conversations was “catching up” to my reading ability. Make sure you log EVERYTHING in therms of time studied, stuff you’ve listened to, etc. This is to give you an idea of your progress regarding how close you are AND especially to reinforce the point to yourself that you are in fact making progress and not at a plateau where you havent’ hit a wall.
For me, the majority of my nearly 800 hours of listening has been watching Spanish Neflix shows while at the same time reading the Spanish subtitles. It’s just like listening and reading at the same time. However, you will now have a tremendous advantage over me in that some genius invented a brower extension that allows you import the subtitles from Netflix directly into LingQ. Now you’ll know what’s beng said, you can review the transrcript later, before, after, during the show whatever. What I did was make a giant list and import EVERYTHING damn thing I’ve watched on Netflix over the last 5 years that is still available. I’m trying to clear the 11,000 remaining blue words. This has allowed by known words count to skyrocket (even having been over 33,0000, created more LingQs, and get a more accurate count for the words I’ve read. I had heretofore read 1.75 million words in LingQ, but I always suspected that with subtitles, it was well over 2 million. I’m at 2.8 now and I’m willing to bet it is closer to 3.5 million! I might even get to 45,000 known words! Once I do that, I’ll take a looong language break, then move on to French or Russian.
Advice-wise, take a gander at my profiel where I wrote down a good summary of my learning progress and feel free to follow me and ask any further questions you might have. Good luck!
We’re ready to support you, T-Roy! Looks like LILingquist has some great advice. Have you thought about adding a video or diary here weekly/monthly/quarterly? It’s very motivating. Even if you just talk about how demotivated you are, we can lift you up!
Looking forwrad to watching the video tonight, btw!
Hi, thanks for your support. I will definitely consider doing a video. I was thinking of maybe starting off one on one with a private video until I felt confidant enough to do it publicly.
Thank you for your response. It was very helpful. I tried responding from my cell phone, but for some reason it wouldn’t allow me. I had to wait until I got back to my desk top. I look forward to putting your tips to practice.
Good luck! Just stay consistent and you’ll get there. I think it’s better to do 1 hour a day, every day, then 8 hours a day once a week.