Podcasts are complementary tools to learn Spanish in online classes. They help you improve your oral comprehension of Spanish while at the same time enjoying stimulating content about the Spanish language and culture. Here is a selection of the most useful podcasts for learning Spanish.
Very often, listening comprehension is a nightmare for students of foreign languages. When my students listen to an audio in my online classes on Skype, they usually get quite nervous. They say they never have enough time to understand everything and that it’s far too fast. I’m sure you’ve often felt the same way too. You’ve probably asked yourself what the best way to improve your understanding is. Well, the best thing is quite simply to practice!
Podcasts have become an essential resource for learning Spanish via the internet. Why is this? For the simple fact that the student is able to select a podcast on the topic they want to listen to and, within a few minutes, they are putting into practice their Spanish oral comprehension, while at the same time getting to know more about the Spanish language and culture.
Why do I use podcasts in my online Spanish classes despite the fact I’m a native speaker?
For the variety of topics
These days there are podcasts for learning Spanish that offer great diversity in their themes, ranging from those that speak about Hispanic traditions and allow the students to discover new information about this culture, to those that teach the students tricks about how to speak Spanish better.
Variety of voices
In my online Spanish courses I believe it is very important for my students to listen to other dialects and voices besides mine, since in their process of getting involved in Hispanic culture, the most natural thing is for them to be in contact with other native speakers.
To encourage work at home
During the Spanish Skype class I include shorter podcasts, as I prefer to spend valuable online class time having conversation practice. Longer Spanish podcasts can therefore be a very useful tool for homework assignments. I encourage my students to listen to them and I recommend that they do complementary activities to work on listening comprehension or written work.
Using Ivoox podcasts to learn Spanish
Spanish students will be able to find podcasts on Ivoox, a platform that allows you to listen to and share audios completely free of charge. And added to that, you can download them and listen to them without needing WIFI!
The Automatic Spanish podcasts are published weekly and offer a great variety of topics. Some will clarify questions that students have about the use of confusing verbs in Spanish and others will propose strategies to learn Spanish on a constant basis.
For students of intermediate or high levels I recommend the podcasts of Alcalingua, from the University of Alcalá de Henares. These are published once a month, and are audios produced in a radio format which have foreign Spanish speakers talking about a specific topic. Each podcast is approximately one hour long and does not include transcription.
My Spanish Podcasts
If you want to use short podcasts in Spanish, the ones on My Spanish Podcasts may be an option, as they are no more than ten minutes long. There is not as great a variety as in the previously mentioned podcasts, but it may be of interest for Spanish students who want to listen to audios with recommendations for tourists in Spain.
The best podcasts to learn Spanish on web sites
News in Slow Spanish
This is a website (which also has an app available) that brings you news from Spanish-speaking media with the speaker speaking at two different rates – slowly (when we click the turtle) and at a normal rhythm (if we select the hare). The best thing about this site? The website offers podcasts about some idiomatic Spanish expressions , along with a transcription and an explanation in English.
The Profedeele website offers multiple resources for learning Spanish. In my online Spanish classes I use many of the tools on this website (songs, interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises, short films, etc.). In addition, podcasts are classified by levels and come with transcription and complementary exercises to practice your oral comprehension more thoroughly.
On this website they offer audiobooks for sale, but their free section is the most interesting part. It is full of podcasts for learning Spanish, and range from between 8 and 16 minutes long. All podcasts are transcribed and sometimes even include a translation of the audio so that the student can read the text in their own native language. The best thing about this web page? The Useful Spanish Expressions Section, which teaches you the meaning of some essential idiomatic Spanish expressions.
Individual students needs a guide
Although podcasts are very useful tools for individual students learning Spanish online, the truth is that you often need a trained teacher to help you organize the knowledge you have attained, and to clarify your questions about grammatical or cultural issues.
Is this where you stand? Would you like to learn Spanish online, but you want to have a trained teacher to guide you on your way when you feel lost? Do you want your learning to be a path of roses without the thorns?
Do you like to study independently at home, but also want to supplement that with online Spanish classes via Skype with a native teacher who is the tutor who will guide your learning? If that is the case, then get in touch with me! I will help you get the most out of the time you invest learning Spanish!