I am just wondering if Spanish listening practice two to five have been recorded at the wrong speed. Sounds like Spanish on steroids. L01 plays ok.
They haven’t! Or at least they have been sped up deliberately! The idea is to train your mind to pick up conversations at speed to further prepare you to understand conversations spoken at normal speed. This same method is being used on the new Welsh course as well, and is seeing some fantastic results with learners understanding of spoken Welsh. It may take some time to get used to, but note that all practice sessions only contain words that you have learned up to that particular practice session (with maybe one or two link words included to maintain fluidity, but the script should be available on the page where you found the practice download).
I hope this helps!
Hola - Sorry to disagree. I regularly listen to Spanish radio http://www.rtve.es/radio/directo/
which is even “faster”. To record at normal speed and then speed up the tape makes for uncomfortable listening. However.
Hi. I’m just a learner like you, so don’t take this as the official SSiS line.
There are really two difficulties that stand in the way of listening comprehension. The first is the speed, and the second is the vocabulary. Listening to the radio is very helpful for learning, but can really be like jumping into the deep end for a learner, even an intermediate one. The SSi listening practices differ from radio listening by consisting entirely of words you already understand, so that your brain can work exclusively on the speed part. They certainly aren’t relaxing or soothing, but I find that the “discomfort” decreases as you get used to them. I suggest giving it a try. You may need to listen three or four times before the jumble becomes comprehensible.
Thanks for your response. My problem is that I find the pitch and register of the speeded up voices artificial and unpleasant to listen to. That said, the 25 lessons themselves were a great help, so all is not lost.
This is Gaby, the male voice of SSiS. I must confess that I hadn’t listened to the speeded up listening practice units before, so I’m finding quite amusing listening to them now
Aran has done quite a bit of research on the neuroscience behind all this (and even written a book on the subject) so he’s certainly the man to bring an opinion on the scientific aspects of it. That said, I don’t find the pitch of the speeded up voices unpleasant, I’m actually surprised how much I can recognize my own self on it. And another point: since the original recordings are made at a slower-than-every-day-conversation speed, these speeded-up versions are really not too distant (probably around 115%) from the normal speed in which I would speak to my parents or friends in Argentina over the phone (especially when I’m excited /angry about something!).
I understand it is a load full of information to process for your brain, but as Aran says the benefits are enormous in preparing you to be around natives in an Spanish speaking environment (and Spaniards DO speak fast even by Argentinian standards!). So, stick to these lessons as much as possible and I bet you’ll notice the difference next time you listen to Spanish radio.
How long have the listening exercises been available as I’ve only just noticed them?
As I’ve done all 25 lessons should I just use the fifth one? Or mix it up or stick with the first one until I know it back to front?
I’d probably go with this
But don’t get stuck on it - maybe a week or so tops, if you listen every day, for each of them, until you’re running with the last one (which includes everything, so you don’t need to keep doing the earlier ones).
@lostforwords - Fred, they’re not easy, and they’re not meant to be - and yes, they’ll certainly sound challenging and make you uncomfortable at first. If you keep with them, and listen for just 5 minutes a day, in about a fortnight you’ll find that they’ve become much more comprehensible, and your brain will have started the challenging (but rewarding) process of adapting to native speaker speed.
I’ve only just noticed these after reading this thread. I’ve been pretty lazy over the last few months to be honest so it’ll be interesting to listen to these to see how much I can pick out given the recent lay off.
Don’t worry about that! If you revisit the last session you did on two consecutive days, you’ll find that the vast majority should come back unexpectedly quickly. Then the 5 minute a day listening exercises can be a great way for you to keep your ‘hand’ in without needing to commit much time
Just listened to practice number two and had to laugh when Gaby was asked to speak “mas lentamente”.
I can’t find the listening practice sessions. Where are they?
EDIT: Cancel that, I just found them by hunting about