One of the best exercises you can do to improve your Spanish pronunciation and speak more fluently is called shadowing.
The basic idea: you listen to a recording of a Spanish native speaker and, with just a slight delay (1-2 seconds), you repeat what that person says.
This will not only help your pronunciation, it will also help you internalize the Spanish rhythm and cadence.
Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to shadowing (I would create a video demonstrating it, but it would be utterly confusing to you, as you would hear the original audio and the audio of me speaking at the same time! If I find a way to create a clear demo video, I’ll make one 🙂 )
One last piece of advice. Complete the exercise with audio only, without reading a transcript at the same time. Using a transcript might be tempting, but you really want to focus on memory and sounds only.
While shadowing, you don’t have to understand everything you’re saying. In fact, you probably won’t. But this doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re getting the muscles in your mouth and tongue used to producing certain sounds, and that you absorb the rhythm and intonation of a native speaker.
As an added benefit, shadowing will also improve your listening skills. Even if you don’t understand anything yet, you’ll still develop a better ear for your target language.
Therefore, when you learn new vocabulary, you’ve already heard it before and it’ll be much easier to recognize.
Note: If you’re a total beginner, you don’t have to worry about this tip yet, and you can safely move on to tip 7.
The reason why I’m not giving you more information about the rules in this article is the following:
No matter how many grammar drills you do, you never have enough time to think about the subjunctive rules in conversations!
The reasoning behind that is that you don’t want to think of the rule when speaking; you want to “JUST KNOW” that the subjunctive is used after, for example, “creo que” or “quiero que”, so you do it correctly automatically and subconsciously.
For example, for the sentence “I want you to know that I’m happy”:
FRONT: “Quiero que _______ (you know) que soy feliz.”
BACK: “Quiero que SEPAS que soy feliz.”
This content was originally published here.