Martin Rankin

by Martin Perth
(Perth Australia)

I have been trying to acquire "el oido" but am frustrated because, although I can speak Spanish using the many words that I know, I can’t follow dialogue, for example the Spanish news. I have visited Spain many times but find it hard to engage in conversation because of my "falto" in following a Spanish speaker.

Thanks for writing. We, here at understand your frustration. Learning a new language takes time, practice, and usually involves a bit of frustration along the way. It sounds like you are off to a great start. If you can speak Spanish, you must have a basic understanding of vocabulary and grammar. That is great. Give yourself a pat on the back for your current progress.

Have you checked our "Rate Yourself" pages? It may be that, while your speaking skills are at an intermediate level, your listening skills might be at a beginner level.

We have often found that some people are much easier to understand than others. Perhaps it is because they have a tendency to speak slower, or enunciate better, but when we find these people, we try to speak to them more and to practice with them as much as possible. We'd encourage you to get a mentor. Regular practice with a native speaker will help both your listening abilities and your speaking abilities.

One of the most important steps of the 5-step Daily Cycle is Step 4: Communicate. This page is filled with links and examples of how to continue to practice and build your skills--both your speaking and your listening skills. Check it out. Try it out. And, keep practicing! Then, check back soon to tell us about your progress.

Good luck, from Your Language Guides.

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