How To Improve Your Speaking Skills In Spanish

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A-level Spanish By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Spanish » A-level Spanish
Last updated: 12/09/2017
Tags: a-level, oral, spanish, speaking

Students often ask me how to improve their speaking skills in preparation for their A-level exams. In particular, even some very good language students can feel quite shy when speaking aloud because of their accent or a lack of confidence.

The first step in improving your speaking (and also your listening) skills is by hearing Spanish as often as you can. I recommend my students to listen to Spanish on a daily basis. An important way to do this is by listening to news in Spanish for at least 15 minutes a day. You can go to websites like BBC Mundo or CNN en Español and watch videos. Or you can stream Spanish news from Spanish channels like Listening to Spanish is important because it will help you get used to pronunciation, the rhythm of the language and little inflections and cadences that native speakers give to the way they speak.

When you are listening to Spanish news, make sure you write down any words you don’t recognise and look them up later. This will help develop your vocabulary and will probably be useful for any key topics you are learning as part of the course.

Don't worry if you struggle to keep up with everything you are hearing! The more you listen, the more you will get used to how the words sound and to differentiating between them.

As well as listening to the news, you can also watch Spanish films or television programmes and listen to Spanish music. Lately everyone is getting very excited about some very popular songs, however,  there is a lot more music to choose from for all the different age groups. Get to know some Latin American and Spanish musicians and listen to their work. This will help you learn more about Spanish and Latin American culture as well.

You then need to put your listening to good use. Try to find a speaking partner with whom you can practise every day. This could be a friend from your Spanish class or someone like a Spanish tutor or conversation partner. Ideally try to spend 20 minutes a day speaking. If you can’t find a speaking partner, try recording yourself speaking out loud on your phone or a Dictaphone. You can then listen to yourself speaking and assess your own performance or ask your teacher or tutor to tell you how you are getting on.

¡Buena suerte!

Alicia Enders A-level Spanish Tutor (Guildford)

About The Author

I am a fully qualified, excellent Spanish teacher with seventeen years of teaching experience and a student-centred approach. I have been accepted as an AQA Examiner for GCSE and A level and for Edexcel for A Level Spanish.

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