shadowing techniques in language learning

5 Reasons to Use the Speech Shadowing Technique

In the quest of learning a new language, you must have unknowingly applied the speech shadowing technique.

Did you listen to a text in the foreign language and spoke it aloud at the same time? If yes, then you have just used the speech shadowing technique.

The speech shadowing technique is an experimental technique of repeating the text immediately after listening it. The reaction time can be as small as 150 milliseconds. It is an extremely popular speech learning tool. It is a learning tool that we

How to use the speech shadowing technique?

To start with, you will require the following things-

  • Audio player (mp3, mp4, or any music player can be fine)
  • Headphones
  • Audio recording in your target language
  • A place where you can rehearse

Step 1: Listen to the text

Step 2: Replay the text and Repeat in your voice. Be louder and try to match the accent of your target language.

Step 3: Repeat the same text again and again, until you are confident and you speak with the same speed as the audio.

Step 4: You can use transcripts to ease your task of speaking.

Step 5: Once you are confident with the text you are practicing and understood its meaning, you can move on to the next text.

We are sure, the next text you will be repeating would be lot easier than the previous one. So this is how the speech shadowing works. Following is also a technique, people commonly use-

Speech shadowing using podcasts

You can use podcasts for the topics of your interest.

We understand it becomes difficult to motivate oneself, when one is unable to understand a large part of it. So, we suggest, if you think you went far and lost your repeating speech, then backtrack. It is not necessary that one can understand every part of it, especially when one has just began to learn, still much can be understood through the context.

Yet another alternate source of speech shadowing is watching cartoons. The cartoons have slower audio speed and easier wordings so that the child understands. You can also switch to the movies in foreign languages, once you feel you are getting hold over the target language.

Quick tips to make learning through speech shadowing effective


speech shadowing technique


  • Walk when you talk. This can also keep you physically fit. But more, it is natural to keep your mind focused through walking.
  • Step Out. Interacting with locals will boost your interest to learn the language.
  • Speak aloud. You will be more confident by hearing your own voice in the target language.

How effective is the shadowing technique to learn new languages?

We will tell you 5 reasons why the speech shadowing technique is effective to learn new languages-

#1 Speech shadowing helps in better pronunciation

With speech shadowing, you listen to the language rather than only reading it. You can understand the pronunciation better when you have actually heard it. Also, you can grasp the accent of the target language or the language you wish to learn.

#2 Improves vocabulary of the target language

As they say, one believes in what their ears listen. And what you believe in, retains. Similarly, you can add up more words of the foreign language when you listen to it.

#3 You can gain fluency of the language by using speech shadowing

Since we know that one can radically improve his vocabulary with the speech shadowing technique, once can anticipate the fluency over the language both in speaking and understanding.

#4 Creates an impression of the sentence structures in mind

When we are repeatedly exposed to listening something, our mind starts processing the information in the same pattern. So, involuntarily we start framing the sentences in the same pattern. This is similar to a child who first starts to speak and creates his own sentences according to how his parents speak.

#5 Imparts targeted learning

In speech shadowing, we try to match with the audio. So we have a target to achieve. When we have set target for ourselves, the potential to perform becomes higher. So is with the speech shadowing technique.


An important thing to remember while using speech shadowing is that, you should not look up to the grammar or meaning until you repeat the text several times. It is not necessary that you understand the whole of the text, but comprehending a part of it is just fine. You will be able to develop a better understanding over the time.


Check out these articles on methods to learn a new language:

10 Language Learning Podcasts You Should Listen To

The 8 Practical Steps to Learn Grammar Easily

Fun, Easy Ways to Learn English with Songs

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