An estimated 440 million people on our planet speak Spanish as their first language – in Spain, and in the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America. Another 80 million or so individuals also speak Spanish as a foreign language.
Spanish is one of the most widely taught languages in schools worldwide. This is due to the number of Spanish speakers in the world, and the importance that they hold internationally.
Do you dream of a cultural trip to Spain or South America, but don’t know how to speak Spanish?
Before you start, there are some things that you'll need to know about improving Spanish skills. One of the most important is that, to become bilingual in English and Spanish, an effective and fun method available to all levels (absolutely beginner, basic Spanish, intermediate level and advanced) is essential.
There are many different fun and effective ways of learning Spanish, but there is one that often doesn't get the same attention as the rest; the podcast.
But what are the most interesting Spanish podcasts, the most popular, and the best suited to learn about the Spanish language and culture?
Here at Superprof, we have put together this handy guide to answer these questions for you, and to suggest some other ways that technology can help you learn Spanish in an innovative way.
Listen to Spanish to Learn the Language
Becoming fluent in Spanish relies on you working on the four main competencies of language learning; speaking, reading, writing, and listening. By listening to Spanish, you will not only improve your audio comprehension, you will also improve your pronunciation by hearing to the correct way of saying words, as well as learning about how to formulate sentences by hearing the correct use of the grammar.
This means that listening to Spanish is a great way to improve your other competencies, and subsequently your overall Spanish level. But how can you go about listening to Spanish?
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 could revolutionise 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, pronunciation and accent
- Diversity in language learning resources will prevent 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 a complementary resource for other ways of learning Spanish. For example, you might do the majority of your Spanish learning with a Spanish tutor or through Spanish YouTube videos, but podcasts can add another way of practising and learning which could benefit you in the classroom or at home.
How to Use a Podcast in Spanish
Podcasts allow you to become your own Spanish teacher and to study Spanish through a variety of digital mechanisms; tablets, MP3 players, Smartphones, and computers.
You just have to subscribe to a channel or download recordings, and listen to them where and when you want, peacefully, and at your own 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 Miguel de Cervantes and Pablo Picasso, which could subsequently help you to hold conversations in Spanish with a native speaker and attain fluency!
Why Opt for a 'Learn Spanish Podcast'?
If you’re wondering whether it’s important to study Spanish everyday, then we can reassure you that speaking Spanish is the key to opening many doors. As we have already mentioned, Spanish figures today as one of the most widely spoken languages.
Whether you’ve never spoken before, your memories of 9th grade Spanish class seem like a far flung memory, or you constantly seem to be getting nowhere with your Spanish course, there is ALWAYS a means to improve your Spanish learning experience.
If you don’t have the time to go to school to learn Spanish (or even take free Spanish lessons), podcasts are 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 by immersing yourself in the spoken Spanish language
- Learn conversational Spanish by listening to other Spanish conversations and picking up the pronunciation and way of expressing yourself
- 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
Downloading Spanish podcasts also brings numerous other benefits.
- You hear native speaker interlocutors
- You simply have to repeat the sounds you hear to perfect your accent
- You can choose the subject
- You’ll learn about all sorts of other disciplines while learning Spanish online (science, astronomy, arts, humanities, etc.)
- You make your own schedule!
The Best Podcasts for Learning Spanish: Coffee Break Spanish and Many More
If you want to improve your Spanish skills, you can rely on a 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 offers high quality Spanish classes for beginner to advanced levels. This podcast allows you to listen to useful subjects and master Spanish vocabulary that covers a variety of themes, including:
So you’ll absorb a wealth of relevant 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.
ATTENTION: some content might require payment such as PDF cards for vocabulary, Spanish audio exercises on grammar points.
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!
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 in their own MP3 recordings.
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!
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 listening skills.
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 Segunda Lengua para Todos)
This is the blog, entirely presented in Spanish, is by Teresa Sanchez, and it 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 you can learn Spanish online. It offers an excellent way to complete your training before you visit one of the 20 Spanish speaking countries worldwide, such as Spain, Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico!
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.
Furthermore, 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.
This site proposes podcasts centred 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!
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 search 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.
This site lets you learn Spanish with total cultural and linguistic immersion for free, online! After quickly 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 pushes you to perfect your Spanish reading skills, while you watch the video.
Just like learning Spanish through Spanish films, you can pauses and rewind the videos to catch any bit that you may have missed. 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 being created daily.
This is not an exhaustive list, however. Here are 13 more of our favourite 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 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 from around 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 teachers. A list of downloadable podcasts allows users to learn grammar and tenses (present, imperfect, subjunctive, past, simple past), as well as discovering the culture of Central and Latin America. The files are aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced.
Alternatives to Spanish Podcasts
Have you skimmed the essentials of the downloadable files and acquired a higher level in your Spanish language training?
Felicitaciónes! However, you can always go further in any foreign language instruction.
Are you looking for another way to learn and practise? Well there are many other digital resources that you can try out to perfect your Spanish!
Watch Hispanic TV Online
If you want to learn Spanish quickly, you'll need to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. Thanks to the internet, you can now watch international TV from the comfort of your home, as well as listen to radio shows from around the world.
So why not bring Spain to your living room! There are loads of Spanish language television channels from Spain and Latin America.
However, please be warned that if your grasp of Spanish is not the best, this may not be the best way for you to learn the language. This is because, depending on your television and its set up, you may not be able to get subtitles, meaning you will need to understand everything just from the audio.
The main advantage of learning Spanish with Youtube videos is obviously that they are numerous and free of charge.
The sheer number of YouTube videos dedicated to learning Spanish means that you can find something that you are looking for, to help you learn at at rhythm that you want.
Often, these videos are created by native speakers so you can pick up a lot about the use of vocabulary, and more importantly, the pronunciation.
You will find videos that give classes, and others which focus on a specific part of grammar or vocabulary. This makes them extremely accessible to all audiences.
What's more, the can offer a great compliment to the Spanish podcasts, too. This is because of the different approach to teaching and learning offered, meaning that your studying is kept fresh and engaging, and thus reducing the chance that you'll get bored.
You can also sign up for Superprof's Spanish courses London or Spanish classes Glasgow!