While learning Spanish at home, you want as many activities as possible that you can do easily and effectively by yourself. The shadowing technique is perfect! Have you heard of this learning strategy before? It’s especially good for auditory learners, but it’s a great way to practice comprehension, conversation and pronunciation all at the same time.
What is the shadowing technique?
This technique is also often called “parroting” because you’re repeating back what you hear. It’s also called “shadowing” because you’re closely following what you hear so you can repeat it back. It’s important to note that you might not understand everything you’re saying at first, and that’s okay. Over time, after repeating and imitating other speakers, you’ll improve your fluency.
That being said, to really be beneficial, this is something you should practice regularly. You might not notice too much of a difference in your speaking or comprehension right away. One day, you’ll look back and realize, “Wow, I’ve really improved a lot since I started shadowing!” It’s part of the reason why learning through music is so successful- when you sing along, you’re shadowing!
Sources to repeat
Now that you understand the benefits of the shadowing technique, how can you find sources? The answer is even easier than you think. You can repeat anything you like to listen to. Here are some examples that you can mimic:
- Podcasts in Spanish
- Spanish audiobooks
- News reports
- YouTube videos
- Movies and TV shows
The best way to select an episode, book or video is to choose ones that have English translations available. This way, instead of repeating only things in Spanish with no way of knowing what you’re saying, you can also read the English translation. This will start forming connections in your brain, and can prove to be a very immersive activity from the comfort of your couch.