In this video you will hear a story about a Spanish listening fail I had when I was in Valencia.
In this video:
0:42 – My big fail
1:40 – Two lessons
2:35 – Listening grammar
3:13 – How good is your listening comprehension?
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While in Valencia I went to visit the “Cuidad de Las Artes y Las Ciencias.” When I went to buy two tickets for my friend and I, I was confronted with a word that I knew but I could not remember what it meant in the moment.
Rather than quickly brushing it off – I paused and stared at the desk attendant. I was trying to figure it out, I knew the word and didn’t want to move on until I solved it.
After an awkward pause the lady let out a “where from?” in her limited English.
I was both embarrassed in front of my friend who could speak zero Spanish and was relying on me to get us through all of our of encounters unscathed.
After this fail, I realized that I needed to work on two things: I needed to better leverage my skills of drawing on context for the situation and my listening grammar.
Context is huge for listening comprehension, it is something that is a way of guessing what is going to be said and backing it up by what you are hearing. You can rely on context even if you Spanish skills are very weak. It is also something that can be improved very quickly by asking yourself one question “what is the most likely thing this person is about to say?”
The other skill is that is worth building up is your listening grammar.
When you are practicing, make sure you give consideration to all of the verb conjugations and how they all sound.
Listening comprehension is tricky and my listening fail can serve as a lesson that focusing on the wrong things just doesn’t help.
What do you think, how do you improve your listening comprehension?