Keep Listening: Learning a Foreign Language


Ms. Roop

The Seniors show an appreciation for Spanish culture, brought about by their appreciation of the language.

Selina Pi, Editor

For me, the most challenging aspect of learning a foreign language has been listening comprehension. With French or Spanish (and now Chinese) class only 1 hour and 30 minutes every other day, students who wish to learn their language(s) thoroughly must find time to practice speaking and listening, and not just do workbook exercises, outside of class. Visiting the country of your foreign language is an ideal way to immerse yourself in the culture but is not always feasible, especially in the middle of the school year. But for right now, the Internet is a garden of resources for listening comprehension and more!

Here are websites I use for French listening comprehension practice:

Collegeboard’s AP French Audio Files French Listening Comp

IE Languages Videos and Podcasts

Audio files for Spanish students:

Collegeboard’s AP Spanish Audio Files

Spanish Listening

Youtube is also a great resource. Just type in the foreign name of one of your favorite films, such as “Le Roi Lion” or “El Rey Léon” (The Lion King), or a non-English word such as “les voitures.” You’re bound to find an appropriate and informative documentary, podcast, or film. In addition, the websites of foreign newspapers, such as Le Monde or, often have videos that will train your knowledge of both culture and language.

Lastly, if you are motivated to learn a language, it is necessary to actively participate in class. Try to overcome embarrassment; not only answer questions, but also converse with your classmates and teacher in a foreign language. Fluency involves speaking quickly with accurate grammar, using a variety of words, and being able to understand others’ words and then respond logically. It is best developed through practice.

Contact me and other Talon staff members at for questions, advice, ideas, comments, and suggestions.