One of the best ways to gain fluency in Spanish is to constantly expose yourself to the language.
Working with a native Spanish language tutor ensures that you are having regular conversations in which you have to think and speak in Spanish. In between lessons, however, one way to ensure that you pick up the language fast is to consume media in Spanish.
Watching Spanish-language television is a great way to learn Spanish on your own and really hear how native language speakers communicate.
Following a Spanish television series isn’t just an entertaining way to learn and practice your listening comprehension, it’s also a great way to know more about the lifestyle and culture!
4 Best Practices To Learn Spanish While Watching TV
Before we get into what are some of the best TV shows to watch to learn Spanish, read this list of tips to maximize your learning experience.
1. Watch regularly
As we said, regular exposure to a language is the best way to absorb it and become fluent. So the key to using TV shows to learn Spanish is to do so regularly.
If you have a Spanish language channel available through your cable provider, try to get the schedule and pick a show that you can watch regularly. It could be the nightly news, or a sports program, or a popular telenovela – the content isn’t really that important. What is important is that you set aside a time everyday to watch.
If you want to use a streaming service such as Netflix, or just watch online, it could be more convenient as you can choose your own viewing time. It is still, however, best to have a semi-regular schedule to sit down and watch.
2. Watch something that interests you
The idea behind watching TV shows to learn Spanish is it allows you to hear the language and get a glimpse into the lives of Spanish speakers in a way that is entertaining. If you force yourself to watch something that you are not interested in, it won’t be as entertaining or effective.
Just because something is the most watched Spanish TV series on your streaming provider doesn’t mean you have to watch it. If you don’t like sports, you shouldn’t force yourself to watch Spanish football games. If you like soap operas try telenovela Spanish TV shows.
The key to watching TV shows for language learning is they have to grab and keep your attention. If you are forcing yourself to watch something that bores you, it just won’t be as effective a learning tool.
3. Watch something more than once
Repetition is still key in language learning so you should try and watch an episode more than once.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t understand everything that was going on in one go, instead, just watch it again. You can also rewatch with a certain learning goal in mind, such as taking note of and picking out certain words or slang phrases. You can also try mouthing along with the dialogue to improve your pronunciation.
4. If subtitles are available, use them
If you are watching Spanish TV shows on a streaming service, it’s likely that there will be a subtitle option, use it.
Try watching an episode with the audio in Spanish but the subtitles in your native language. You can glance at the subtitles every now and then as a guide. You can also try to watch it again with Spanish subtitles, this will help you practice your Spanish reading comprehension.
So, now that you know HOW to watch Spanish TV for learning, WHAT should you watch? Well, here are some of our recommendations for the best TV shows for Spanish language learners.
Spanish TV Shows for kids
Of course some of the best TV shows to learn Spanish for beginners are those that are geared for children. If you can, try and find these Spanish TV shows for kids online or on streaming services.
1. Plaza Sesamo
2. Oh, Noah!
5. Llama Llama
Best Shows to Learn Spanish on Netflix
Looking for something a bit more challenging than cartoons or kiddy shows? Queue up some of the best Spanish TV shows on Netflix for hours of enjoyment – and learning.
Like teen dramas? Then you should definitely check out the Elite on Netflix.
Follow the sometimes scandalous misadventures of a group of privileged teenagers at an elite secondary school. There are three seasons of the show now available.
This Mexico-based Spanish language TV drama has drawn a lot of comparisons to another hit Netflix show, “House of Cards”.
It follows the lives and machinations of a fictional president and his first lady as they try to further their political ambitions while still maintaining their marriage.
3. La Casa de Papel
Known as “Money Heist” in English, this heist show was a breakthrough hit for Netflix, becoming not just one of the most popular Spanish TV series on the service; but one of its most popular series internationally.
Money Heist is so popular that there’s even a documentary on the making of the series called “Money Heist: The Phenomenon.” That is also currently available for streaming on Netflix.
Get hooked on the adventures of “The Professor” and his group of master thieves as they plan and execute their daring heists. The first season sees them trying to rob the Royal Mint of Spain, while the second see’s them trying to rob the Bank of Spain while planning a daring rescue of one of their own.
4. Luis Miguel, La Serie
If you are a music fan, you’re definitely going to like this biographical series about the life of Mexican musical icon Luis Miguel.
The series, starring Diego Boneta as Luis Miguel, chronicles the singer’s efforts to become a star with the help of his family. It tells the tale of the close knit and loving Miguel family grappled with the effect that fame had on their previously quiet lives.
5. Paquitas Salas
If you are looking to have a few laughs, you should check out this comedy series about the owner of a formerly lucrative talent agency struggling to keep afloat after losing their biggest client. An eclectic ensemble of witty characters will surely provide laughs as well as language learning.
Best Spanish TV Shows On Amazon Prime
Another streaming service that has a wide selection of Spanish language content is Amazon Prime. If this is your streaming service of choice, you should check the following out.
When ex-cop Car Note is framed for a crime, he decides to become a lawyer. Now, he uses both his investigative knowledge and his legal expertise to keep innocent people from ending up imprisoned.
2. Como Sobrevivir Soltero
After Sebastian finds his girlfriend of 10 years has been cheating on him, he’s suddenly thrust into the single life again. This comedy series based in Mexico City follows the newly single Sebastian and his group of friends through their misadventures in the dating scene.
This drama set in the 80’s follows the story of two brothers, Alberto and Henry, and the woman they are both attracted to Virginia. It is an interesting study of the ties that bond and break.
This historical drama is based on the life of Queen Isabella I of Castile.
The three seasons of this show follow along as Isabella grows up to wed, become a queen, and become the patron of an intrepid explorer called Christopher Columbus.
5. Pequeñas coincidencias
Translated as “Little Coincidences”, this lighthearted romantic comedy follows Javier and Marta as they try to figure out just what they want out of both their professional lives and their love lives.
Watching Spanish language TV is a great way to supplement your Spanish language lessons with a language tutor. It’s definitely a lot more interesting than just memorizing lists of vocabulary words!
Aside from the shows that we mentioned here – and Netflix and Amazon – there’s a lot of Spanish language content available on other streaming platforms and even just on YouTube.
It is probably a good idea to let your Spanish language tutor know that you want to try and watch more Spanish TV series.
They can probably recommend some good series that you can follow.
Also, talking about TV series or the episode you watched just before your lesson is a great way to practice!
If you can start and sustain a conversation about what you just watched with your language tutor, you will gain confidence in your conversational ability that will truly serve you well in the future.
This content was originally published here.