How to Improve Your Spanish Listening Skills with Authentic Content [Yabla Review 2021]

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Yabla provides authentic content in Spanish to help you improve your vocabulary and listening comprehension. 

Let me show you some of my favorite features.

When you login, you’ll see a menu to the left with several options to search for content that interests you.

Difficulty

You have the ability to select the difficulty so you can choose videos suited for your level.  I wouldn't rely on this 100%.  If you find some content that you really like, especially in the case of music, I’d go ahead and try it out and listen to it first to see if it's at your level if it's too difficult.

Region

I really like that you can select the region so not only can you can select between Latin America and Spain, they also have several Spanish-speaking countries features on the site.

If you’ve already picked what type of Spanish you’re learning  or if there’s a country you're interested in visiting, this is a really great feature.

As you know, I recommend that when you're learning Spanish that you should focus on a particular region or dialect so you can get used to their accent and culture.

Categories

If you want to narrow down your search, you can go to the category section.

If you’re interested in comedy, TV series, or if you want to look at documentaries you’ll find them in this section.  You can also choose to focus on a more traditional lesson on vocabulary or grammar.

My favorite, of course, is the music videos section because that’s what I like to use for language learning.


Once you select a video, let’s look at your options for using the content.

Vocabulary

I always recommend, before you listen to any content, that you review the vocabulary/keywords first.   Of course, if you don't know the meaning of the words you hear you won't comprehend what you’re listening to.

In the vocabulary section for each video, it immediately give us a list of words that we may not know which is great because we can actually start to review the words.

One great thing about the vocabulary review is that it also has an audio clip for each word so you can hear how the words are supposed to be pronounced.

And if you have listening to the Learn Spanish Con Salsa podcast, you know that recommend that you listen to audio when you're learning new vocabulary.   This is so you’ll be able to understand words when you hear them because you’ll get used to the correct pronunciation and intonation from the very beginning.

Transcripts

Another feature that I also enjoy is the transcripts section.  You have the ability to review the entire transcript and look for words that are unfamiliar to you that may not have been included in the vocabulary section.

You can turn on/off subtitles and translation while you’re watching the video.  There’s also a replay button that I can use to listen to a difficult section over and over again so I can practice my listening comprehension.

Playback Options

There's an option to slow down the video playback which I definitely recommend for content that’s faster.  You can use this feature to be able to hear it more clearly by slowing it down.

Games

I really like the games because they help you practice active listening and make sure that you're paying attention.  The easiest option to start with the is the multiple choice game, which gives you options to fill in missing words in the video transcript as you listen.

It also pauses to give you time to catch up or replay if you need to.  Then you can graduate to the fill-in-the-blanks option where you actually have to type in a missing word in each line.

Finally, the Scribe option requires dictation where you write out what you hear.  You get immediate feedback and can also get a few hints to help you out if you’re completely stuck.

Scribe is a great option if you want to practice your Spanish listening skills.  If you really want to improve your listening comprehension, this is a great way to do it with authentic content in Spanish.

If you want to try out Yabla for yourself, go to https://yabla.com/salsa to get a 15-day free trial.

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