Reading/Listening Balance

Hi all,

I have been using Lingq to learn Spanish for the past 18 days. I have tried to learn the language before but was not consistent in my input/study as I found a lot of the material boring. fast forward to now, and I love reading native content, along with mini stories etc that are in Lingq.

I have a bit more free time at the moment so I am really focusing on my development and the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is look forward to my reading in Spanish!

I have centred my learning on reading as I enjoy it the most, but have been listening to some podcasts and simple short stories in the TL when I have dead time (1 hour 15 minute commute along with walking the dog, cooking etc).

Even though I have learned some Spanish words before and am not completely new, I find listening difficult. I am not too worried about knowing everything but wanted to know if others have had a similar experience where they enjoy reading much more than listening? What did you do to improve your listening skills? I should probably sit down and do some focused listening more but wanted to know what others think.

At the moment, I am not too interested in speaking too much. With my job I know a Colombian that I make some small talk with which is great to breach simple topics but at the moment I am focused with developing my knowledge of words and comprehension.

I’ll list my stats below, I try to get at least 2 hours of reading time in per day. I usually hit a minimum of 5000 words read per day and then I can relax, or carry on if I feel like it. But the competition of trying to read more words drives me on!

18 days:

  • 3383 words learned
  • 106,585 words read

My target is to have some intermediate/meaningful conversation within 6 months.

Please let me know what you think :slight_smile:



When I first started German I was really heavily focused on reading mainly and would hardly get any listening at all. I figured how can I comprehend anything meaningful people are saying if I don’t know the words. If I know the words then I at least will have a chance to understand what I’m hearing.
(I will still miss a lot of words in the beginning, but at least I have the potential to understand)
I think that you focusing more of your time on reading is a great approach!
It’s not until much later that I find that my listening comprehension is catching up to my reading. Vocabulary really is like the foundation. And the quickest way to build that foundation is through a lot of reading.

Listening is still important in the earlier stages, but I totally hear what you’re saying. It’s hard to get listening in, because most content is too hard.


Thanks for the insight Mark. I feel like my comprehension has come on leaps and bounds and a lot of random Spanish words and phrases will be in my head during the day because of the sheer amount of reading that I am doing.

What sort of material did you listen to in the beginning?

In the beginning I want to say I spent a lot of time on the “Mini Stories” and the short story on LingQ called “Who is she?”
Then I spent months going through the podcast called “Easy German” They make podcasts that are completely in German with transcripts.
I know that “Easy Spanish” does the same thing! I don’t know if you are familiar with their content already, but that’s a great resource!
You do have to pay monthly to get access to the transcripts though.
“Easy Spanish” is going to be difficult in the beginning.
It’ll probably too many blue words at first to listen and Lingq at the same time. I remember at first I would just lingq half of the podcast then listen to that half while reading. Then do the next half.
Because reading and lingqing the entire thing then listening to the entire thing was too difficult to remember what they were talking about. Eveually though, you’ll be able to listen and lingq at the same time. Once you are able to do this your known words and words read stats are going to sky rocket!


OMG is that a Boxer in your profile picture?! I have a boxer too! they are the best!

Thanks for the tips Mark! I think I have come across one of Easy Spanish’s videos on Youtube in which they were asking people in Barcelona where they are from.

I will get cracking with some Easy Spanish tomorrow. I am keen to listen to more real conversations and Lingq at the same time to get some regular exposure to phrases that I can use when I start speaking and really embed them into my memory.

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Yes it is! She’s with me now! She’s a 2 year old so still full of energy! How old is yours? They are brilliant dogs :slight_smile:

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My dog is 3 years old! You can check out his instagram if you want to see him! “andytheboxer123” on IG

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He has so much energy too! He’s so crazy in the mornings!

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She’s beautiful! We adopted a 7 month old Boxer here in Mexico about 7 months ago. We have 3 other dogs and have had many, many dogs over the years. We both agree that he’s the best dog we’ve ever had! But yes, SO full of energy! He is the happiest dog on the planet. He never watches where he’s going and he slammed into me 2 weeks ago at full speed on a walk resulting in a pretty bad ankle sprain. I’m in a boot for 8 weeks and still on crutches. But he’s worth it! We love him so much!


MarkE I want to see him! I sent you a follow request on Instagram. :slight_smile: We adore our Boxer boy!

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I find reading so so much easier than listening! I actually started out with Pimsleur and am on level 4. I used to always “listen and repeat” as they tell you to do because I did that while walking our dogs. But now I play it while I’m cooking or showering or house cleaning. Sometimes I listen to lessons 4 or 5 times if I’m not fully paying attention. I wish I could import those lessons into LingQ because I know a lot more words than it shows on LingQ.


Thanks for the advice Suz. I will have a look into Dreaming Spanish and see how I get on. Did you import Ollie’s book or audiobook?

After 18 days, listening abilities shouldn’t even be entering your mind. It takes thousands of hours practice to tune listening to a level where you can understand a lot of what you hear in the wild (in most native TV shows/movies too).

Reading is easier because you can take all the time in the world you need. Listening is quite a different skill, even though it’s closely linked for obvious reasons. I’m at around 4-5k hours of learning Spanish, with probably well over 1k hours of listening practice, and I still have lots of trouble listening. I can read almost anything.

From what I’ve heard, there will always be some things you can’t understand, no matter how good you are. I sometimes watch reaction channels on YouTube and almost all ‘English as a 2nd language’ speakers use subs when they watch the shows/movies they’re reacting to. When they talk, they’re really quite fluent, so that just shows you how tough listening can be.

I have to say, this statement worries me somewhat. Just remember that learning a language can’t be rushed. After just 18 days, stressing over hitting 5k words/day isn’t sustainable and will almost certainly lead to burn out.

We all have this kind of enthusiam when we first start, but there’s no need to stress about it at this stage. If/when you get to a more advanced stage, you’ll realise that this early stage meant very little in the grand scheme of things. The most important thing is that you find ways to avoid dropping it altogether.

It’s such a fun ride, and I hope you stay with it long enough to enjoy the breakthroughs. Just be careful with your expectations at this early stage.

Good luck!


Some of the videos are labeled “Super Easy Spanish”…those are usually more simplistic and focus on specific grammatical topics. They are usually easier to understand compared to the street interviews (depending on your level).

Thanks for the reply, it’s good to get an idea of what other people have gone through before to get an idea of how easy certain aspects are to pick up. I am trying to listen more to some easier content to bring this aspect along.

I will push back on the 5k comment though. For me, I am really enjoying reading so this is not a stress at all, maybe I phrased it incorrectly. I am not ‘stressing’ over reaching this target. I have exceeded this amount everyday and without any stress. i enjoy reading and my speed of listening has picked up a lot while reading. I like trying to hit this target as it gives me a carrot when I have come home from work and I have only read a little in the morning for example. Rather than watching TV or some football, I would read for another 30 mins to hit my target. It’s what is working for me and the momentum I have built up has given me even more enthusiasm to carry on as with the sheer amount of input I have received, I can see progress quicker.

I enjoying the journey :slight_smile:


My story is the same as yours. I also tried to learn Spanish with different programs. I have a question about reading. How does everybody read. Di you translate every word in their minds. Or do you just read like it would be your native language. I am at story 13 at the mini stories. I understand the story without translating it in my mind. Of course first I had to learn the vocabularies. Listing is the same. I watch enchuveTV on YouTube. Short comedy videos.

I did and I tried to make it a shared lesson but it says it’s a generated audio and isn’t a valid audio to share a lesson. Not sure if there is something I’m doing wrong?

If you would like to boost your stats, you can watch the video on your lingq lesson when you are on the pc. On the mobile app it only seems to count listening time if you listen to the audio. I wish they would fix this so the videos would count for listening time when using the mobile app.

ohhhhhh reading is always MUCH MUCH easier !
ohhhhhh leer siempre es mucho mucho mas facil !