Nowadays there are almost endless resources for learning and practicing your language skills, for instance, Audiovisual tools, have been proven to be one of the most effective for learning.
However, there is a resource that you can easily incorporate into your leisure time which can be very productive if used properly: shows and series.
There is nothing like getting home after work and accompanying your meal with a gripping story that has you hooked. Well, believe it or not, using shows to learn Spanish is an excellent tool to improve your performance in the language.
Do you want to know why you should and how to use them to your advantage? Then keep reading because we will tell you this and much more. We will also give you a selection of 5 shows to learn Spanish that will help you as you learn!
Soak up this information brought to you by Spanish Express and make the most of your free time.
Why does watching shows help to learn Spanish?
Watching series in Spanish is one of the most effective ways to expose yourself to new vocabulary and expressions native to Spain or other Spanish-speaking countries.
By employing this tool, you will not only be improving your speech, but you will also be delving into the cultural and historical aspects of the country.
Your hearing will benefit the most, as you will start to get used to listening to conversations in Spanish; a key element to getting by in the language as a native speaker.
Furthermore, one of the most interesting aspects of this learning method is the association of actions with the character’s words within the shows. This combination of action-speech is essential for those words that do not have a literal meaning when translated.
However, to enjoy all the benefits of watching shows to learn Spanish, it is important to carry out some steps to make the most of this resource and, of course, we bring them to you here.
How do you watch Spanish shows correctly?
Follow these simple steps to achieve the optimal result when watching shows to learn Spanish:
Audio in Spanish with subtitles in your language
If you are a beginner in the Spanish language (level A1 and A2), it is recommended that when watching shows, you do it with the audio in Spanish and the subtitles in your native language.
“Why?” Well, this will be an excellent way to identify words you don’t know and to thoroughly understand at all times what is being said or happening in the shows. This way, you can create an association between the spoken words and their meaning through the subtitles.
Subtitles and audio in Spanish
For those of you with an intermediate level of Spanish (B1 and B2 level), you can now take the big step to watch shows with both audio and subtitles in Spanish.
“Really?” Yes! Although you may not understand everything, you will have the advantage of reading to understand better. In addition, the association of reading the words whilst hearing them will be a great exercise to train your listening as you improve your speech.
The audio in Spanish without the subtitles
Finally, we have the biggest challenge of all for language learners: watching Spanish shows without subtitles.
This is only recommended for advanced learners (C1 and C2 levels), as it will be your final opportunity to make sure you understand Spanish more like a native speaker.
Removing the subtitles is essential to start thinking in the language instead of translating in your mind. Which, of course, will be a before and after in your learning.
Ready to apply these methods? Here are 5 of the best shows to learn Spanish. Enjoy!
Our selection of shows to learn Spanish
If you like mystery stories, don’t hesitate to give Alta mar a chance.
Alta mar had a place within the most-watched shows on Netflix Spain after its premiere in 2019. The story centers around two sisters who discover disturbing family secrets after several homicides inside the luxury ship they travel.
The dialogues have clear pronunciation, and the speech rhythm is smooth. On the other hand, the vocabulary is of a more formal and neutral style, an alternative that is useful to learn.
It is an excellent option for students with a beginner or intermediate level in Spanish.
La casa de papel
Occupying the number one spot as the most-watched show on Netflix Spain, La casa de papel is a great show to learn Spanish with.
This action-packed plot focuses on a group of thieves who plan to pull off a robbery within The Royal Mint of Spain. As the story unfolds, the personal lives and dramas of its main characters come to light, giving a touch of suspense to each episode.
The vocabulary employed in this program is modern and contemporary, concurrent with the language currently used in Spain, a perfect option to enrich your knowledge.
Yet, the dialogues tend to be fast-paced, so it is one of the most recommended shows to learn Spanish for students at intermediate and advanced levels.
Las chicas del cable
Do you enjoy romantic stories? Then this series will be your favorite on this list!
Despite having premiered in 2017, Las chicas del cable still has a big presence among Netflix consumers. The show is set in the 1920s and tells the story of 4 women from different backgrounds who meet at a telephone company where they were hired. Their dramas and love stories expand as the chapters go by.
Las chicas del cable is suitable for students of any level of Spanish, as the dialogues are easy to understand and the vocabulary is diverse.
It will help you practice your speaking and listening skills while enjoying an entertaining story.
We couldn’t leave comedy out of this list. Allí abajo is a Spanish series from 2015, which can still be found on Netflix.
The plot of this story plays with the cultural differences within Spain and touches on an important topic for Spanish students: the dialectal variations within the country.
This hilarious comedy takes viewers on a ride through the chaotic relationship of Iñaki (from northern Spain) and Carmen (from the south). They make their differences a laughing riot for viewers.
Like Las chicas del cable, this is one of the best shows to learn Spanish for every student. Although with an advanced level you will understand much more of the references, beginners and intermediates can still give it a try.
It is a series with a very native Spanish vocabulary and fast-paced dialogues, but with many histories and cultural references that will help you understand the country better.
Sandra, detective de cuentos
Since we brought many options for adults, we give you an extra alternative to share with the family: Sandra, detective de cuentos.
The plot of this cartoon series leads Sandra to solve mysteries within the classic tales of literature. It is very entertaining, and the best thing is that it is designed for children, which means that the Spanish dialogue and speech is slower, with less complicated sentences at a structural level.
Excellent for getting kids used to the language, and if you don’t have kids, it is still very useful. Don’t be ashamed to take a look at this series if you are starting your journey into learning Spanish.
Improve your Spanish with Spanish Express!
It’s time to leave the subtitles behind and start speaking Spanish like a native with Spanish Express.
Join one of the available courses or programs, such as the Spanish Homestay Immersion programme, for an unforgettable vacation this summer while you learn. Plus, you’ll be learning in your teacher’s home! There is no better way to learn a language than in its country of origin.
You will also have access to online Spanish classes with the most qualified teachers in the area who will give you all the necessary tools for your learning.
Start now with your Spanish classes and stop getting lost in translations or subtitles. Come and learn with us, let’s enjoy these shows together to learn Spanish!
Ginnette Di Damaso
Blogger of Spanish Express