Reading vs Listening

Hi all, is there an ideal word count (# of known words) you should have before really diving into working on listening skills? I find listening extremely frustrating at this point, so I’m just wondering if there’s a certain level of reading mastery before attempting listening–to lessen the frustration. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Stay with short lessons. Read and listen, do it again a few times and move on. Don’t worry about not understanding. It will all fall into place in due course. Cheers.


100% agree. Drew, I can personally confirm this with my Spanish learning. During Steve’s original 90 Day Korean Challenge (Jan-April 2014), I read, read, read once I got really comfortable with LingQ and added so many words to point I thought I might be “neglecting” my listening skills and it was frustrating. I remembered what Steve had said about a few hundred hours of exposure years ago and when I hit about 20,000 words in Spanish, and my iPad wasn’t supported by LingQ apps anymore, I decided to really “listen and read” by watching NetFlix telenovelas in Spanish with Spanish titles going to let my listening skills “catch up.” Well, I’ve just finished my fifth series and am at nearly 550 of listening hours over the course of all my learning at LingQ. I still often use those Spanish subtitles as a crutch, but I can tell you: it’s amazing how much slower Spanish people talk now and I can eavesdrop on them without issue.

You could start with easier content such as Notes in Spanish - Inspired Beginners: Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast Archives - Notes in Spanish

All skills, including listening skills, must be gradually developed and increased.
Of course, if you start listening ‘Don Quijot’ in the beginning of your Spanish study, you won’t be able to undestand anything.
I agree with Steve - ‘stay with short lessons’ first of all, read and listen at the same time - and only if you feel comfortable on this level, go on to the higher level.
It doesn’t exist a certain number of known words after that you can listen to everything without efforts.
But all skills can be developed with the method ‘step by step’, especially listening.


Wow, thanks for all the responses. Lots of helpful info. Yeah, I started out with Sapiens which was probably a bit much for starting out–at least for listening. So, I’ll do the bulk of my listening with the mini stories.