Did you know that podcasts can be used to help you learn Spanish?
What’s great about podcasts is that they’re convenient. You can listen to them while sitting in traffic, or during your morning jog. More and more education professionals are incorporating podcasts in their teaching plans because they can be used to support learning.
Podcasts aren’t the only solution to help you learn a language. After all, they can't really help with pronunciation. But. Speaking in Spanish regularly and being fully engaged with the language will. Where podcasts fit in with your learning is two-fold.
First, podcasts can enhance your listening skills. Secondly, you can repeat words and practice pronunciation of those words. As I was learning Spanish, I listened to a lot of podcasts to help support my learning. Some were better than others. As you go through this list, note that I’m referring to the free podcasts. Most of these programs have a paid component as well, and tend to offer access to more lessons and worksheets.
Read on for my list of the 7 best podcasts to learn Spanish.
News in Slow Spanish
Do you have a hard time understanding Spanish when it’s spoken at a normal pace? News in Slow Spanish has been my favorite Spanish language podcast for a long time. What I love about the podcast is that each episode is about 10 minutes long, covering the latest news in Latin America and Spain.
It’s spoken in slow Spanish so you can understand the words, and transcripts are available to read along.
Coffee Break Spanish
Coffee Break Spanish breaks down language lessons into 15 minute segments, which is perfect if you’re taking a coffee break.
The Season 1 starts with very basic Spanish, counting numbers and saying hello. The second season is a slightly advanced beginner, while season 3 and 4 progress from intermediate to advanced.
I enjoy the structure of the podcast because the lessons are intertwined with stories and real-life situations.
Spanish Pod 101
This podcast also offers Spanish lessons in 10 -15 minute sections. The lessons are on point, and they tend to have the following structure:
• Conversation at a normal pace
• Conversation at a slow pace
• Conversation with translation
SpanishPod 101 has over 500 audio lessons available. However, with the version that’s available to the public, only the last 10 lessons are available. Otherwise, you’ll have to sign up for a membership.
Actual Fluency Podcast
Ready to be inspired to learn? That’s the feeling you get when you listen to the Actual Fluency podcast. This isn’t your standard language lesson podcast. Every week Kris Broholm invites a language learning expert on to talk about the process of language learning.
Broholm is a big proponent of learning language independently. He created this podcast to support language learners and keep them informed, inspired and entertained. He takes listeners through the journey of language learning, revealing what works and what doesn’t along the way.
Some recent topics include how to introduce a foreign language to kids and language learning anxiety. He’s reviewed products, podcasts, books, and other resources. This takes the guess work out of the process for you.
This podcast is known for brilliant journalism. It just happens to be in Spanish and tells stories throughout Latin America. In fact, Radio Ambulante was so good at telling untold stories, it was picked up for distribution by NPR last year.
If you want to understand the culture and challenges of Latin America, this is the perfect podcast to do so. It’s in Spanish, which means that it also gives you the opportunity to listen and learn.
Radio Ambulante offers a wide range of stories, from current events throughout Latin America to sports. Each story reflects a very high standard of storytelling and investigative journalism, which makes this podcast a must-listen.
Notes in Spanish
Did you ever think that you’d learn Spanish from a Spaniard and Englishman? That’s what makes this podcast so interesting.
Maria is a Madrileña, born and raised in Madrid. Ben is an Englishman who moved to Spain in 1998 without speaking a word of Spanish. He now works as an interpreter and both host Notes in Spanish.
At this point in your learning you probably have lessons, text books, classroom study, but you’re lacking in real-world application. That’s where this podcast comes in.
Ben and Maria focus on real-world situations and conversations while teaching you the differences between ser and estar. Their style is very relaxed and they have programs for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
El País seminal
Have you ever read the New York Times Sunday Magazine? There are stories about style and in-depth features about culture. It’s what makes Sundays special.
Now imagine a Spanish version of that. That’s what the El País Semenal is. The print version usually appears in the Sunday paper, but there’s a podcast version that you can listen to anywhere in the world.
It’s a wonderful way to get acquainted with the Spanish culture and arts scene. Writers, directors, singers and historians are frequently featured. You’ll also find candid personal interviews with Spain’s influential leaders.
Even if you can’t read Spanish yet, you can use the podcast to enhance your listening skills.
Podcasts Make a Difference in Learning Spanish
Podcasts are incredibly convenient to learn Spanish and further your learning. As with anything, the real power is in consistency and applying what you’re learning.
You can take steps from being a passive learner to an active learner. This starts by speaking or writing Spanish. When you listen to your podcast, you can write down words you don’t know and make a flash card out of it.
If you’re brave enough, you can talk about what you’re learning and listening to. Try to do that in Spanish.
You’ll make the time spent listening to the podcasts that much more effective. Plus, you’ll learn a heck of a lot more quickly.