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Podcasts: Study Spanish with Digital Tools!

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Spanish > Learn Spanish with Podcasts

Over 458 million people on our planet speak Spanish as their first language – in Spain, and in the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. 800 million individuals also speak Spanish as a foreign language.

Originally a Roman language, Spanish would be freed from the shackles of Latin after the 2nd century AD and became its own autonomous language between the 8th and 9th centuries.

In the beginning, this Latinized dialect was only spoken in Cantabria, before spreading widely over the last two millennia via conquests by the Spanish empire, from the 16th to the 19th century.

Spanish is also the widest spoken foreign language in the United States! This is because it is the first language of immigrants and our neighbors to the south. For this reason, it is the most popular second language chosen by students.

Do you dream of a cultural trip to Spain or South America, but don’t know how to speak Spanish?

To become bilingual in English and Spanish, an effective yet fun method available to all levels (absolutely beginner, basic Spanish, intermediate level and advanced) is the podcast.

But what are the most interesting Spanish podcasts, the most popular, and the best suited to learn Spanish language and culture?

Superprof, a global reference for language learning (and other subjects), is happy to present you with this useful panorama of the best digital tools to learn Spanish for free.

Why and how to use the podcast for Spanish learning

So instead of walking around with dozens of CDs – and who even listens to CDs today? – not to mention heavy books and magazines for your Spanish classes, the “invisible” podcast can revolutionize your linguistic training.

Why? Because it’s simpler, faster, more fun, more interactive and infinitely lighter to transport!

Why choose a podcast in Spanish?

  • It gives you access to a large variety of free shows and channels in Spanish
  • It gives you the possibility of learning how you want, when you want, wherever you want
  • You can benefit from the off-line option, which allows you to download Spanish audio shows in advance to listen to them with no Internet connection
  • The focus on listening will improve your listening comprehension and pronunciation and accents
  • Diversity in language learning resources will keep you from becoming bored
  • You’ll have the opportunity to revise your Spanish courses in your free time
  • You can learn without having the impression of making an effort or working

Also, podcasts work as complementary resources to Spanish Youtube videos (more on that further on).

How to use a podcast in Spanish?

Computer learning Discover the best free shows to learn Spanish! source: visualhunt.com

Podcasts allow you to become your own Spanish teacher and study Spanish with any digital support: a tablet, MP3 player, Smartphone, or computer.

You just have to subscribe to a channel or download recordings, and listen to them were you want, when you want, peacefully, at your rhythm.

Here is a guide on how to subscribe and have access to the latest available shows. All you have to do is click on “Play” and start the lesson that you want!

It’s practical, fun, and most of all, you can enroll and listen to a large number of Spanish classes. You can multitask: listen while you cook, go jogging, shopping or driving, etc.

It’s ideal for listening regularly to the language of Cervantes and Picasso and later, being able to hold conversations in Spanish with a native speaker and attain fluency!

Why resort to the Spanish podcast?

argentine-scene Seville, Andalusia… if you go, you’ll need to wing it with your Spanish conversation: download podcasts! source: visualhunt.com

If you’re wondering if it’s important to learn everyday Spanish, we can reassure you that speaking Spanish is a key to opening may doors. As we mentioned above, Spanish figures today among the most widely spoken languages.

Whether you’ve never spoken before, your memories of 9th grade Spanish class seem far away or you are always studying without getting anywhere in your Spanish course: there is ALWAYS a means to improve your level in Spanish learning.

If you who don’t have the time to go to school to learn Spanish (or even take free Spanish lessons), the podcast is a valuable tool to extend your linguistic skills, and provide you with ‘tricks’ for speaking the Spanish language fluently.

Since Spanish is a ‘living’ language, it must be spoken and lived! This is why podcasts and videos are an ideal method for learning how to speak Spanish.

Podcasts help you learn Spanish fast because you can:

  • Say good bye to paper: sonic memorization is often more efficient than visual memory
  • Work your ear and active listening, immersed in Spanish sonorities
  • Listen to current Spanish conversations
  • Achieve a Spanish cultural immersion from the comfort of your home
  • Discover popular Spanish and Latin American expressions
  • Pretend a podcast is your private Spanish teacher: each listening session replaces a home tutoring session
  • Mix learning with pleasure

Enrolling in an RSS feed and downloading Spanish podcasts also brings numerous other benefits.

  1. You hear native speaker interlocutors
  2. You simply have to repeat the sounds you hear to perfect your accent
  3. You can choose the subject
  4. You’ll learn about all sorts of other disciplines while learning Spanish online (science, astronomy, arts, humanities, etc.)
  5. You make your own schedule!

The best podcasts for learning Spanish

Among the plethora of podcasts that exist on the web, it’s not always easy to separate the good from the bad to find the right podcast to learn Spanish fast. So Superprof has made a selection for you!

News in Slow Spanish

This is definitely one of the best podcasts for learning the Spanish language.

It’s high quality Spanish classes for beginner to advanced levels. This podcast allows you to listen to useful subjects and master a Spanish vocabulary on multiples themes, including:

  • economy
  • politics
  • ecology
  • leisure

So you’ll absorb a wealth of pertinent information each week, all in a clear, simple and “slow” rhythm, for a better assimilation. No need for those flashcards anymore!

What’s more, on the website of the podcast, you can find vocabulary sheets and complete texts for each show. This will be useful for making sure you heard the right Spanish words and phrases.

Notes in Spanish

This podcast offers progressive classes with a larger selection of courses for an advanced level. It’s ideal if you are looking to assimilate Spanish vocabulary and grammar to attain a better level in spoken Spanish, even fluency. Your knowledge of conjugation and tenses should already be intermediate.

Coffee Break Spanish

This is a podcast that offers 80 shows for beginner Spanish speakers, each between 15 and 20 minutes. There are also some for more intermediate level speakers to improve their vocabulary and conversational Spanish.

This podcast is unique as it’s presented by two people: Kara, a student who is learning at the same time as you, and Mark, your teacher. This is ideal language learning training for children in particular.

learn-spanish Learn Spanish with podcasts!

ATTENTION: some content might require payment such as PDF cards for vocabulary, Spanish audio exercises or grammar points.

Showtime Spanish

This podcast is a logical suite to Coffee Break Spanish, addressing people who already have a solid Spanish foundation. You’ll find the two professors of Coffee Break Spanish in these shows of about 25 minutes or so, very practical for learning to speak Spanish!

Audio-lingua

This podcast offers very short recordings (no more than two minutes at most). Led by native Spanish speakers, it presents pertinent content that you can download or listen to in a podcast. We think it’s a fun and interactive site, as users can add to the database by sending their own MP3 recordings.

Audiolibros Albalearning

This is another high quality site that site that proposes completely free audio files, which include Spanish literary extracts (especially poetry). You’ll be sure to impress your date with some romantic Spanish conversation now!

Proyecto Sherezade

This is an entertaining website that allows you to listen to and learn tales and stories in Spanish. Also, each file comes with exercises and quizzes, to test your ear.

Radialistas

This podcast is by the Ecuadorian association “Radialistas apasionadas y apasionados” and also offers a wide array of audio files in the Spanish language.

These files address many themes from daily life, especially concerning Latin America and the Caribbean: history, geography, civic education, biology, etc. The text of the files are also available on the website, so you can make sure you got all those Spanish verbs and adjectives just right!

SSL4You (Spanish Secunda Lengua para todos)

This is the blog of Teresa Sanchez, entirely presented in Spanish, that proposes different thematic podcasts accompanied by a transcription. Each podcast addresses a particular aspect of daily life such as rites, meals, and traditions, as well as current affairs topics such as ecology.

This is an efficient blog with which to learn Spanish online, and why not, complete your training if you intend to go off to Spain or Mexico!

bolivian-waters How about a trip down to Bolivia to get your Spanish on?

Audiria

This site proposes files in “baladodiffusion”: they are easily accessible, free and downloadable. Several themes are offered such as daily life, food, culture, geography, arts, and history.

Further, each file includes targeted exercises to work your oral comprehension for optimal Spanish conversation skills. You will work on your pronunciation via active listening and be able to revise Spanish vocabulary words, idiomatic expressions, short phrases, all while following your progression online.

Comunicando

This site proposes podcasts centered around technologies, the internet, video games and cyber culture. All the audio files are downloadable as MP3s. This one is perfect for the tech savvy Spanish online learner!

Online TV

This is a very practical directory with hundreds of TV and radio channels, which you can listen to and watch live or download from the internet.

Each channel is sorted by theme and a research box is there to help you make a selection quickly. With 140 radio stations and over 900 TV channels online, you’ll have a lot to stimulate your Spanish linguistic knowledge, whatever your level.

Fluentu

This site lets you learn Spanish with total cultural and linguistic immersion for free online! After rapidly creating your own personal account, you can access a mosaic of videos that you choose according to your taste! We think this is much better than free lessons!

English conversations are often subtitled in Spanish, which alls you to perfect your Spanish reading skills, while you watch the video. If you become lost at any point, the site allows you to click on each word, and a pop-up box appears with explanations (i.e. definition, translations, illustrations). What a great way to learn a new language!

The Internet is today’s Temple of knowledge: it’s a goldmine of free access with thousands of sites are created daily.

The Internet opens the doors to the world: studying a language for free has become easy!

Podcasts don’t escape this effervescence. So to go farther in your online Spanish learning, here are 13 more of our favorite podcast channels:

  • Hablemos: English and Spanish podcast: it’s a Mexican’s account of his new life in the United States. You can download files in the MP3 format.
  • Canciones de tuna: an immense repertoire of hundreds of Spanish songs, of which you can download the music scores and texts.
  • Ivoox: Hispanic podcasts that are organised by themes, such as sports, health, blogging, technology, games, and the arts, etc.
  • Spanish Audio Gazette: this provides podcasts read by narrators native to Latin America.
  • Lengalia: these are podcasts with audio and video files in Spanish, perfect for the average learner.
  • Radipaz: this is a Latin American radio station that partners with UNESCO to deliver news of peace culture.
  • Tiflolibros: this renowned digital library helps you learn Spanish with texts read by the author and recordings of well-known authors including Borges, Cortazar and Benedetti. This is a fantastic way to learn a new language!
  • Spanishpod 101: This site offers access to over 1620 Spanish courses in audio and video formats, with vocabulary and listening comprehension exercises in Spanish.
  • Nomadas: These podcasts are selected for those for whom Spanish is a second language. Picking up on various subjects, including travel, nature, music, history, they allow listeners to discover the different Spanish accents of the world.
  • Fallo de sistema: These weekly podcasts propose scientific and science fiction content, including debates, interviews with writers, researchers and philosophers.
  • Futuro abierto: This site provides podcasts with a broad interest in society in general, with different themes each week, including urban sidewalk interviews created by Hispanic journalists.
  • La historia del mundo (History of the world): this is a channel with shows dedicated to the history of Asian, African, European, North American and Latin American history.
  • Edufone: This provides free Spanish courses each day made by native Spanish teacers. A list of downloadable podcasts allows users to learn grammar, tenses and modes (present, imperfect, subjunctive, past, simple past) as well as discover the culture of Central and Latin America. The files come in all levels, from beginner to advanced.

Alternatives to the Spanish podcast

Have you skimmed the essentials of the downloadable files and acquired a higher level in your Spanish language training?

Felicitación! However, you can always go further in any foreign language instruction.

Do you want more? Are you sick of podcasts? Well there are many other digital resources that you can try out to perfect your Spanish!

Watch Hispanic TV online

With the Internet, it is now possible to watch international TV from the comfort of your home, as well as listen to radio shows in the official language of each country.

Bring Spain to your living room!

By connecting yourself to the site of the Spanish television or that of any Latin American country, you can access dozens of Spanish speaking TV channels. Of course, this requires you to have a pretty good grasp of the Spanish language already, as there are obviously no subtitles!

YouTube videos

The main advantage to Spanish lessons on Youtube is obviously the free cost: unlimited Spanish learning videos are available streaming.

Because they are unlimited, videos allow you to learn Spanish online at your personal rhythm: when you wake up, in the car, while you eat lunch or exercise, or at night before sleeping…

YouTube videos are great because you can hear the words pronounced by a native speaker in many cases. This gives you a true picture of Spanish vocabulary that you won’t get in your Spanish class textbook. Instead of learning conjugation on paper, listen to how correct verb usage sounds with your own ears!

Because they are unlimited, videos allow you to learn Spanish online at your personal rhythm: when you wake up, in the car, while you eat lunch or exercise, or at night before sleeping… On YouTube, you can benefit from Spanish tutorials (made by Spanish language teachers, native Spanish speakers and Spanish enthusiasts) and find free Spanish lessons and exercises.

The choice of Spanish online videos seems almost infinite: with over one billion internet users that access YouTube every day – and who also post videos – it is impossible to quantify the number.

Some examples include:

PolyglotPablo

This first video groups 300 simple Spanish works and phrases in 30 minutes of free video: the words are spoken twice, allowing viewers enough time to repeat and check their own pronunciation.

123TeachMe

This page provides a large range of short videos, in a range of different levels, from children to adults. And you can even choose your video in terms of themes, from business to medicine. There are interesting features to facilitate language learning. This includes a Spanish themes games page to make learning fun. You can also join a members’ page to interact, share progress, etc. There’s even a section for Spanish educators.

Why Not Spanish

This channel has an interesting concept. You will accompany the journey of an absolute beginner Spanish speaker, Cody, who has been trying for years to learn the language with little success. It aims to make you a more confident Spanish speaker with free videos that cover a range of topics, including grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, tips and cultural aspects. As opposed to a traditional classroom experience, these topics are approached with the real world use of the Spanish language. The video series is organized from a progressive Zero to Fluency levels, which you’ll get to by quizzes.

Spanish101pod.com

Led by Maria, videos on this channel last about 45 minutes. They picture images and play dialogues followed by questions, which viewers answer.

Learn Spanish with Paulino

Paulino offers a range of videos for different levels, to help viewers with reading comprehension, pronunciation and discussion. They last for about 1 hour.

Professor Jason

Videos on this channel last between 20 and 40 minutes, and address a range of topics in grammar (verbs, tenses, etc) and conversation (asking and answering questions, etc.). Jason goes into detail in his lessons, encouraging a more advanced understanding of the Spanish language.

ProSpanish

This channel teaches you how to put language together to communicate in everyday Spanish situations. The focus is on structures which can be manipulated and used in multiple contexts, as opposed to vocabulary themes which are of limited use. Their approach has proved so effective because it avoids abstract grammar explanations and employs a variety of techniques. There are 6 levels for students.

Sleep learning

This is a very unique channel that proposes to teach Spanish while you sleep! You listen as you are falling asleep and leave it on while you sleep. The video below lasts for three hours and plays multiple dialogues of typical everyday Spanish conversation, so that you identify Spanish words used in conversation. It uses three binaural beats to 1. Enhance learning ability, 2. Initiate sleep learning 3. Improve memory.

Tu escuela de español

On this channel for learning Spanish there are presentations in grammar rules, themed vocabulary lists on themes (names, family, nature, etc.), and phonetics videos. There are also videos on Spanish culture and traditions. Videos are offered from beginner to advanced levels.

Podcasts and videos serve as incredible, rich resources for language learning, allowing you to progress at your rhythm, comfortably at home. And most importantly, they are fun. Olé!

 

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