In light of our recent blog about using podcasts in the classroom, I started researching how podcasts can be a great resource for improving foreign language skills for high school and middle school students. Podcasts offer the ability to get away from flashcards and textbooks and hear real Spanish at your convenience 24/7. With teens addicted to their phones anyway, Spanish podcasts are the perfect tool because podcasts are fun and can be listened to anywhere, even while walking the dog, jogging, driving in the car, etc. Some other benefits of Spanish podcasts include the ability to learn Spanish at your own pace and customize learning since students can choose podcasts on topics of their own interest. Finally, podcasts allow students to listen to native speakers with varying accents as well as improve their vocabulary.
Below are some great Spanish podcasts to try out!
1) Audiria- http://audiria.com/index.php
Audiria is produced by two brothers from Malaga, Spain. They provide a series of engaging podcasts for all levels that promote Spanish language and culture. New podcasts are available everyday and are free! They cover a wide variety of real life situations. In addition, there are exercises and additional resources to support student learning.
2) Coffee Break Spanish– http://coffeebreakspanish.libsyn.com/
Coffee Break Spanish features 80 fun lessons of 15-20 minutes each. The podcasts focus on Mark, an experienced language teacher, and his student Kara. Each podcast is themed with topics such as finding your way around town and ordering a coffee. And there are lots of opportunities to repeat the phrases.
3) Spanish Pod 101- http://www.spanishpod101.com
The coolest thing about these podcasts are that they include a host of native speakers from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world, including Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico. This helps students to learn the different accents as well as specific words unique to each country.The episodes are upbeat and enjoyable with the language spoken at normal speed. The dialogues are repeated several times and a wealth of supporting material is provided. Spanish Pod 101 has lessons for beginners all the way up to advanced Spanish language speakers.
4) Language Trek http://languagetreks.com/individual/podcasts
Language Trek is specifically designed for school students. The hosts are Johnny Spanish and Christina, who both have colorful, engaging and infectious personalities. The podcasts breeze along at a good pace, but not so fast that you get lost. Throughout the podcasts the listener is invited and encouraged to repeat words and phrases out loud. The lessons typically last for about ten minutes and each one is divided into bite-sized chunks. Covered topics include: saying what you do for a living, asking and saying what language you speak, and expressing how you are doing.
5) Podcasts in Spanish http://www.podcastsinspanish.org/pages/level1.shtml
These podcasts include dialogues spoken at normal speed. It can be tricky to understand what is being said but each podcast is accompanied by a transcript, worksheet, answers and vocabulary tasks. Once you have a worked through those, go back and listen to the podcast again. These podcasts cover interesting, current topics. For example, there are podcasts on how social networking has changed the way we relate to each other, neighborhood services and a trip to the zoo.
6) Fluent U http://www.fluentu.com/spanish/
Fluent U is unique in that it differs from the other Spanish podcasts because it is more of a learning platform where you can learn new words through real live videos and Spanish audio dialogues, check out annotated definitions, add new words to your own personal vocabulary lists, and much more! FluentU has a big library of videos and short audio dialogues that cover a variety of situations. While the dialogues aren’t as long, they can be very topic specific, which is great if you’re learning Spanish topic by topic. Within every video or audio dialogue, there’s a full dialogue and vocabulary section covering the main vocabulary and grammar points. Some examples of content are posted below
Examples of content: A Grandmother Explains Twitter, HBO’s The Pelayos, Your Emotions Are Contagious, Man and Science: From Myth to Reason, Antonio Bandera’s Favorite Word, Three Tips for Public Speaking, Frida Kahlo’s Daily Routine.