For many people, learning a new language can be an overwhelming experience. If not approached in an engaging way, it can be frustrating with all the new vocabulary, conjugations and grammar. For sure, grammar lessons have their place in learning. However, there are several other ways of reinforcing and immersing yourself in your new language. You could download an app, read a novel, join a conversation class or you could learn Spanish by doing something you do every day—watching Spanish TV shows. Let’s talk about how you can improve your Spanish proficiency by watching Spanish TV!
Why Watch Spanish TV Shows?
Watching television provides a chance to relax, unwind, and escape life’s stress. But just thirty minutes daily of Spanish TV will get you to learn the language at the same time and is one aspect of a modern approach to achieving language proficiency. Language students are encouraged to interact with the language in real-world situations to reinforce the content learned as the student prepares to build on it. As you watch TV in Spanish, you will easily be able to catch more subtle things like body language and context clues associated with certain expressions and words in Spanish. And you will remember them, because there’s a story connected to them and you’re learning in context.
Best Spanish TV Shows to Stream Tonight
You can stream some pretty interesting Spanish shows these days. Chances are, with a little browsing, there is a show out there that you definitely can binge-watch. If you are into high drama, then you should plunge into the world of telenovelas! Every day, millions of Latin American viewers gather around their televisions at home to tune in to these serial dramas. Telenovelas show you on-screen how diverse the Spanish language is – showing the differences in the Spanish language from country to country and even across different regions or social classes of a country. It doesn’t hurt that you’re learning this while being kept on your toes by the incredible plot twists and heart-racing love affairs! We’ll give you a tip—one of the most popular telenovelas would be the Mexican drama “Teresa”.
If you aren’t interested in serial dramas, you might enjoy Spanish reality television. Watching Spanish reality TV helps you to develop a more natural style of speaking, especially with intonations and accents. Not to mention they are easier to understand, because they aren’t scripted, so they speak more slowly. I should warn you that reality TV stars are not exactly known for their large vocabulary bank, and but it’s a fun way to learn a more casual side of the language. Popular reality programs include Acapulco Shore and Made in Mexico. Both shows follow the lives of affluent Mexicans and their drama-filled interactions with the world around them.
How to Watch Spanish TV as a Beginner
If you are a beginner, you can start by watching Spanish programs with English subtitles. But frankly, using Spanish subtitles will produce faster and more meaningful language acquisition. Choosing English subtitles may cause you to concentrate on the English language on-screen as opposed to the Spanish language you’re hearing. Using Spanish subtitles will help the learning experience as your mind connects the body language, pronunciation, and accents of the actors with the actual words presented on-screen during the dialogue. It may be a bit more difficult at first, but it will definitely pay off.
Are Grammar Studies Still Relevant?
Watching Spanish television for at least thirty minutes each day helps you learn the language faster and in a more natural way. Don’t throw out your books, as grammar studies teach the foundation of the language that equip us for the fast-paced use of Spanish we experience during a telenovela. Spanish grammar studies in a structured setting can teach us how to navigate the gender-based nature of the language and explain the verb tenses and their endings. For instance, it is through grammar studies that you will learn that the word for “cup” in Spanish is feminine. But with a Spanish tutor, you can learn to apply what you’ve learned in real life conversations and practice. Grammar studies can be paced to facilitate learning in a manner that Spanish TV isn’t. After all, the reality show is geared to entertain a native speaker of Spanish and is paced to achieve that. Grammar studies with a tutor give you a chance to digest exceptions and variations in the Spanish language.
It is possible to find a middle ground between grammar studies and watching Spanish TV shows. One way is to watch your favorite program and write everything down. This approach improves your listening skills while still making it fun. If you’re just watching and listening, you may space out, but with an activity to do, it helps keep you focused. Here are some tricks when using television programs in this way:
- Listen to very small pieces of the program (no more than a few seconds at a time) and write down what you hear
- Listen several times until you can’t make out any more
- Compare what you heard against the subtitles
- Look up new words in a dictionary and write them down so you can review them in the future
Learning Spanish through television is fun and effective. As you do it more, you will find that you more quickly understand the drama of your telenovela and can relate to your favorite star on reality TV. And if you want to practice and learn more about how to become fluent in Spanish, contact us at TruFluency to start your journey to mastery with us!