Today, I will give you three tips that you can apply to learn Spanish while watching movies or any series on your favorite streaming website. We all have different genre tastes; for that reason, read until the very end of this article to discover a list of 5 fun shows to watch and improve your Spanish at the same time!
Tip # 1 – Apply the conversation-based chunking method
This means learning how to apply the 4 simple steps comprising the chunking method when learning Spanish through TV series. Why? Because it will help you learn more Spanish WITHOUT having to think about grammar all the time.
Here they are:
Step 1. LISTEN to all the conversation you hear in the shows, try to look only at the subtitles when necessary and get familiar with the phrases that Spanish speakers use the most.
Step 2. IDENTIFY the chunks and every time you say, “Ahhhhh! This is how a native Spanish speaker would say it”, then that is a chunk.
Step 3. MEMORIZE those chunks!
It is easier to memorize a phrase and apply it, than memorizing conjugation lists and thinking about what to say when you are trying to express yourself.
The good part is that you’ve just heard your favorite actors use these chunks/phrases, so you KNOW they’re correct!
Step 4. SPEAK. You will notice that those chunks will come naturally since you have been hearing them in actual and fluent conversations in Spanish. And you will see yourself speaking as the actors and actresses from those shows!
If you want to learn more about this method, don’t forget we have a free Spanish training that explains how it works!
Bonus tip: if watching a movie or series without subtitles is too hard for you, but you don’t want to make it too easy by using English subtitles, watch it with subtitles IN SPANISH! That way, you can listen and read the dialogues at the same time, which might help you in identifying chunks as well!
Tip # 2 – Choose shows that you can connect with
What do I mean by that? Choose genres and topics that are attractive to you or characters that you can feel related to, that you admire, or situations you can see yourself in.
As an example, I am also a marketer by profession who loves languages, therefore, the new Netflix show Emily in Paris connected with my inner self. How about you? Are you an expat living in another country?
Entonces, ve “Cien días para enamorarnos” (Then, watch “One Hundred Days to Fall in Love”). The show is about Mexican expats living in Houston, Texas, and is kind of a modern telenovela. So, it is very fun to watch!
If you want to learn vocabulary about strategy, planning, and logistics, La Casa de Papel is an amazing show to learn about this topic, as el profesor es perfecto para este rol (the professor is perfect for this role).
So, mis amigos, this is important because choosing topics you find interesting or you can relate to will help you find phrases (or chunks, as we call them) that you may actually use in your conversations.
#Tip 3 – Go above and beyond internationally
Get familiar with all sorts of Spanish accents! Not only Mexico has very good movies and shows to watch, but España, Colombia, Venezuela and Perú have amazing options that you could use to train your ear to understand different Spanish accents.
I will give you some examples that you can stream right away!
- Soltera codiciada (2018)
In this Peruvian movie, una mujer en sus 30 (a woman in her 30s) gets dumped by her boyfriend—with whom she had been in a relationship for 6 years—and starts a blog about… Well, I think you should watch it and then we can discuss it!
- La ley secreta (2019)
This is a Colombian TV show about un grupo de cuatro agentes encubiertas (a group of 4 undercover female agents) that attempt to take down the drug lords and their associates, and if you like drama, law and movies based on real life stories, then this is for you!
- Toc Toc (2017)
Directly from Spain, and one of my personal favorite Spanish movies, this one has a bit of mystery, a lot of comedy, and un final inesperado (an unexpected ending).
These three shows are great for you to start identifying accents and chunks from different Spanish-speaking countries and use them in your daily conversations.
Shall we finally get to the list of my personal recommendations? But first, what do you think about these tips? Have you applied any of them before? Let me know in the comments below!
As I promised, here are the 5 shows and movies I recommend to you (very Mexican of course!)
# 1 La Reina del Sur – acción, drama y negocios ilegales (action, drama and illegal business)
# 2 La casa de las flores – una telenovela moderna (a modern soap opera) full of family secrets
# 3 El club de cuervos – una de mis favoritas (one of my favorites) —It has drama, love, the macho man, and the controversial feminist.
Bonus: if you are a soccer lover, you’re gonna love this.
# 4 La dictadura perfecta – soborno, dinero y política (bribery, money and politics)… by far one of the most realistic movies I have seen about politicians in Mexico. Worth watching!
# 5 Nosotros los Nobles —it will also be a great way to learn about the Mexican culture and social class differences in our country. I bet you are going to love it!
After watching these films, amigos, cualquier parecido con la realidad es pura coincidencia (any resemblance to real life is pure coincidence).
Are there any other shows that you have watched and would like to recommend to other subscribers? Please let us know in the comments below so more students can benefit from your recommendations!