Use These Five Steps to Learn Spanish Through Film…

learn spanish, movie, 20mission, Colombia Immersion, Spanish School, Medellin

Understanding native speakers can often be the most difficult aspect of learning Spanish.

No matter how many words you know, no matter how many books you’ve read, you won’t be prepared for listening: comprehension is a whole different ballgame.

What makes sense written down may sound like a big unrecognizable mush, and simply watching a Spanish film without subtitles likely isn’t going to get you very far.

Why? Your untrained ears don’t know what the language actually sounds like spoken by native speakers

Rather, you’ll want to ensure comprehension each step of the way to ease yourself into full audio immersion of that language.

Our five-step guide to develop your listening comprehension through film:

  1. Select a movie to study with. Choose wisely: you’ll be watching this film many times, so choose something that you won’t get (too) sick of! Make sure you have the option of both English and Spanish subtitles.
  2. Watch the movie with English subtitles. You need to understand exactly what goes on in the film. If you are an intermediate/advanced speaker you may only need to do this stage once. For those less advanced, maybe watch it a few times, so that when you move on and use Spanish subtitles, you won’t get lost.
  3. Watch the movie again with Spanish subtitles. You need to know what they are saying. Look up words and learn words that you don’t know, and when there are bits that just sound like Spanish gobbledigook, rewatch them again and again until the words make sense to you.
  4. Take the final plunge. Watch it with no subtitles. You’re not going to understand every single thing the first time, but hopefully, as you now know all the words and the plot, you’ll be ready for the film as it was meant to be watched.
  5. Repeat, Repeat Repeat. You’re not done yet! Watch the film over and over again until you know the film back to front. Watch it until you can mouth along with the characters. You’re going to need a film that you really really like, but this is the way to do it!


  • Your comprehension of Spanish should come on a long way. Your ears will get much better at interpreting Spanish inflection, what sounds and words colloquial Spanish speakers swallow, etc.
  • You will pick up a huge amount of everyday vocabulary and idioms, information that you won’t see in books or newspapers but that is essential for comprehension of everyday Spanish.

Now it’s time to get out there and watch some movies.

Have you tried this method before? Can you recommend a particular movie? Comment below!

Colombia Immersion

At Colombia Immersion we believe in a more compassionate world where people can communicate, connect and see the world through the eyes of their neighbor. Our Spanish school is a community to learn and live in local neighborhoods, for students that want to learn Spanish while connecting deeply with the Colombian people and culture. Welcome to Colombia Immersion, your community for cultural immersion.

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