How to get top marks in GCSE and A-Level Spanish: Developing skills in listening and reading

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April 7th, 2020

How to get top marks in GCSE and A-Level Spanish: Developing skills in listening and reading

In this article, Ana gives some tips on how to improve your Spanish listening and reading skills during lockdown through five different free online resources. If you can’t go to Spain, let Spain come to you!

Schools are closed. There isn’t an exam looming around the corner. To top it off, that holiday in Spain is definitely not going ahead. Year 10 and Year 12 students may be struggling to keep up the momentum, but with a little bit of imagination, this can be turned into an opportunity.

Quantity – and quality – of linguistic input is a very important element of language learning. We learn the most when we are exposed to a level of language that is comprehensible and, ideally, just a bit over our current skill level. However, it is still very important to work with materials at all levels: easier, in order to consolidate previous knowledge; and much more challenging, in order to habituate to the language even if we are not understanding much of it. With this in mind, I suggest you use your newfound free time at home to try the following resources:

Listen to some Spanish music

Listening to Spanish radio is a great way to understand the culture and listen to native speakers. Try the talk shows, or turn to Los 40 and you could be in any Spanish bar. You might even discover your new favourite band!

Watch Spanish TV

Turn the screen on and imagine your sofa is in Spain. Try the 24hr News channel: you are very likely to know what they are talking about and you will have plenty of written clues to help you along. 

Cook some Spanish food

If you are into Spanish food, making your own is a great learning experience! Choose a recipe and enjoy cooking along with the videos, and probably a curious parent too. Paella anyone?

Read the Spanish News

Keep up to date browsing the Spanish news. And do not fret, it does not need to be about Covid-19: most newspapers are organised into handy sections, and El Pais even has one devoted to videogames!

Have some fun with Spanish

Clan is the portal for young TV viewers. Activities are mostly geared at primary school-aged children, but who does not love a simple game with Peppa for a refreshing change? 


A-Level GCSE Spanish

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