Basic Spanish Skills: Practice to Improve Your Language Skills
Are you having a hard time talking to natives too?
Having basic Spanish skills can turn that around. How well do you understand Spanish? Are others able to understand you in Spanish? I have never met an adult learner in 30 years who would say it’s easy for them. Really. Never.
These are just some answers I received when I asked which basic Spanish skill is the hardest.
Speaking for me, mainly because the other things (reading, writing, and listening) can easily be done on my own time, so it’s easier to develop study plans and deliberately focus on things I have to improve as needed. On the other hand it’s sometimes awfully difficult to find a speaking partner who is both willing/able to teach and available frequently enough for you to make real progress.
Listening for sure. Getting used to different accents and different vocabularies makes it hard. With native speakers once they know I’m learning their language they switch to their natural accent and speak really quickly. At least with the other three I can slow it down to my pace.
Writing and reading.. Mainly because the first language learning philosophy focused on speaking and listening, and it just so happens that it’s my preferred method
There are a total of five basic Spanish language skills.
The First Four Basic Spanish Language Skills
Active listening skills – you can understand spoken language; able to separate words in a string of sounds
- Make sense of what you hear
- Be attentive to what is happening so you’re well informed
- Ask questions
- Respond thoughtfully
- It opens up further dialogue
Reading and comprehension skills – you can understand written language; able to attach meaning to words
- Decode printed words
- Scan text for important details
- Summarize full message
- Draw conclusions based on information
- Confident with larger texts
Public speaking – you have the ability to express yourself in speech; others can understand what you say; begins with repeating words
- Speak clearly to engage listeners
- Impact others with your ideas, thoughts, and opinions
- Overcome fear of speaking with practice
- Strong impression based on your delivery
Writing – you have the ability to express yourself in writing; others can understand what you write; begins with copying words
- Copy what you have heard or read
- Able to put your thoughts into words
- Your writing is grammatically correct, clear, and concise
- Write with style to make it more interesting
- Structure your writing
Earlier I mentioned that there are five skills. What skill is missing?
Basic Spanish Skills.
According to the international hospitality industry and global institutions, the ability to communicate in multiple languages is the most important skill of all.
As an English native, knowing Spanish is an essential skill today.
You need comprehension skills, listening and reading, for Spanish to make sense.
Not only that but….
You need expression skills, speaking and writing, so you make sense to others in Spanish.
What you need to know about comprehension
How well do you understand Spanish in speech and print?
Listening is a difficult skill to master. We can’t deny that.
The Spanish speak incredibly fast.
Every region has different accents and vocabulary.
In a situation like this, we usually end up blaming ourselves. Thinking — I’m hopeless, I’m bad at learning languages, I make too many mistakes)
It is incredibly difficult to recognize words in speech.
Reading is more flexible.
Text flows differently than speech. Every word is clearly defined in print. You have time to stop and think about it. You’re in control.
What you need to know about expression
How well do you express yourself in speech and print?
Speaking requires confidence. It’s easy to freeze in difficult situations.
Good conversation opportunities are rare. You have trouble understanding what you hear. Your mind goes blank searching for the right words.
Fears and uncomfortable feelings stop you from expressing your thoughts and opinions.
Writing is hit or miss. Some write often and some overlook pen and paper.
Either way, writing is a good way to actively engage while listening, reading, and speaking.
The big takeaway from this article: Don’t be afraid to listen to original material. Variety is good. Listen to texts of different difficulty and of different origins. More accents will better prepare you for real life situations.
These language skills are in any language. You have them in your native language.
How can you get these skills in Spanish?
If you want to be able to listen, you need to actively listen to Spanish. If you want to be able to speak, you need to speak publicly in Spanish. If you want to be able to read, you need to read Spanish. If you want to be able to write, you need to write in Spanish.
Learning a language can be hard. Skills don’t fall into place with memorization or testing. Practice makes every skill possible.
Spanish Skills Booster
Would you rather take control of your skills practice with an organized study plan? I’ve got you covered.
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