Podcast#11: Spanish Study Woes

Sep 16, 2016 | podcast |

Oh woe is me! Do you know that expression? It’s a rather over the top, funny way to say how sad or disappointed you are. You typically use it when you feel sorry for yourself. You know, those times where something bad has happened and you spend your time thinking about it and feeling sad, rather than moving on.
When I got 5/20 on a Spanish test, I felt so sorry for myself that I decided to go to into a toilet cubicle, lock the door and not come out! It felt good just to feel sad, cry and let out my emotions in the privacy of that cubicle. I didn’t feel sorry for myself forever though. In fact, I managed to get better results on my next test.
Today’s episode is all about my struggles in learning Spanish when I went back to university in 2011. I didn’t have too much experience with the language and I hadn’t actively studied it for 7 years! If you sometimes feel that learning English is a struggle, especially trying to understand spoken English, then this episode should encourage you.

Before you listen

I’ve already told you a lot of the story but…

…brainstorm some words and expressions you expect to hear during the episode. Write them down in a list. Listen and tick these words as you hear them (if you hear them).

Once you’ve done that, you can listen out for the new vocabulary below.

A few words and expressions to help you out

Listen out for them as I speak

tough = if something is tough, then it’s difficult

have a (big) handicap = have a (big) disadvantage

marking = the way that students’ work is graded or marked

to be used to doing something = to have the habit of doing something, to be familiar with doing something

a complete breakthrough = you have a breakthrough, or even a complete breakthrough when you finally become successful at something

the moral of the story = the lesson you learn from a story

significant achievement = a very important success

While listening

Dictations

As usual, I’ve picked out some sections for you to transcribe. Listen to them several times and write down what you hear. The answers are underneath. Good luck!

Dictation Answers

Here are the transcribed sections of each dictation. Which words or expressions did you find difficult to catch? Let me know in the comments.

Dictation 1: everybody had to do English, so that was kinda cool. And then you had to pick another language.

Dictation 2: And after a while, I just kind of… This was in the class, I kind of [chuckle] had enough

Dictation 3: And that was somebody who had been studying Spanish for much longer and who had, you know… Who was used to doing these kinds of umm translation tests.

Over to you

Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. I’d love to hear from you in the comments – what struggles or difficulties have you experienced in your language learning? What did you do to overcome them?