The importance of hearing in language learning

Hearing is the beginning of our interaction with the environment, and this begins before we’re born; because hearing is the only sense that works at 100% in the gestational stage. So the brain’s function in language learning is to pick up sound information, to get used to the tonality, musicality and energy of the words.

In other words, this process happens from the moment of gestation as when we learn a new language, that’s why it’s recommended that when you learn a new language, you should focus on listening.

As we know, each language has different sound frequencies. As Spanish speakers it’s very difficult for us to recreate the nasal sounds that other languages have.

So, if you focus on ear training, you can articulate these sound frequencies that you probably could not pronounce and understand before.

To put it in context, all over the world there’re a variety of phonemes (150 to be precise), each language have a part of these phonemes and leaves others aside.

Not knowing the other phonemes can make it difficult to understand and pronounce the new language. Álvaro Capitán (2020) mentions that it’s like being color blind for sounds, you’re unable to distinguish color or brightness, as if all the notes of a piano sounded the same.

For this reasons, we encourage you to focus on listening skills if you want to improve your speaking too. Through this article we have expressed how all languages have particular sounds typical of that language and the importance of hearing in language learning.


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