Authentic Spanish Songs with Commands

Authentic Spanish Songs with Commands

Inside: Authentic songs in Spanish with commands (or mandatos). 


Here I’ve collected authentic songs examples of commands. When students hear language over and over, in context, they pick up the forms more easily. If you teach explicit grammar, it’s much easier to explain verbs when the students already have examples you can reference. 

This list is heavy on the affirmative commands, so I will keep looking for more negative examples. (If you’re looking for more lists of Songs in Spanish by theme and category, I have a TON you can browse through or save for later.)


Spanish Songs with Commands


1.  Madre Tierra – Chayanne


A positive, environmental-themed song that has positive tú commands, mainly in the chorus. Preview the video below for the dancing, and use the second video instead if you need to. 




2. Te Mueves Tú, Se Mueven Todos – Ha*Ash, Reik, David Bisbal


So many great examples of commands here- positive, negative, tú form, nosotros. Such a fun one, to!



3. Dímelo – Marc Antony 


Dímelo by Marc Antony is nice because there aren’t many lyrics, and everything gets repeated. The song includes a negative command (no me dejes), a positive one (ven), and a positive with two pronouns (dímelo). 



4. Di Que No Te Vas – Morat


This one isn’t as packed with mandatos as the other songs here. Mira and di get repeated over and over again, so it may work as a very introductory song with an example of a regular and irregular verb in the tú command form. 


5. Dile al Amor – Aventura 


This bachata classic has your commands in the 3rd-person form (speaking to Love, actually). And soooo many reps of dale and dile


6. Abrázame


Abrázame has a lot of examples of commands with the pronoun attached at the end (abrázame, quédate, dame), with infinitives + pronoun. If you want to make that connection or contrast the examples, this song would be helpful.



7. Dímelo – Enrique Iglesias


You’ll need to preview and make a decision on this one. The original video is DEFINITELY not school-appropriate… BUT, the lyrics are perfect for commands. Your call!



9. Recuérdame – Coco (Carlos Rivera)


Who doesn’t love a song from Coco? The only command is “recuérdame,”  but you’ll hear it again and again. And…. Coco.


10. Olvídame y Pega la Vuelta – Jennifer Lopez y Marc Antony


Cheese it up with these duets. The second one has more negative commands!



11. Sé Chévere – Sr. Wooly


Not strictly “authentic,” but THE BEST SONG EVER for commands. Your students will love you for showing this one. 



What Spanish songs with commands did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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Spanish song with commands


Authentic Spanish Songs with the Subjunctive Mood

Authentic Spanish Songs with the Subjunctive Mood

Inside: The best Spanish songs with the subjunctive mood. 


The subjunctive is one of the harder forms to master. I still mess it up, especially when speaking about the past! 

But let’s not make the mistake of leaving it entirely to Spanish 3 or 4. You can still slip it in (¡Que tengas un buen día!), and this song list is ready whenever you’d like to emphasize the subjunctive mood. 

(If you’re looking for more lists of Songs in Spanish by theme and category, I have a TON you can browse through or save for later.)

Let’s take a tour of our top picks!


Spanish Songs with Subjunctive


Songs in the present subjunctive are at the beginning, and you can find the imperfect subjunctive near the end of the list. 


1. Sueños – Diego Torres


This is a really happy, catchy song full of the subjunctive mood. (Mostly in the context of “quiero que…”)


2. A Dios Le Pido – Juanes 


One of the most iconic Juanes songs out there, the subjunctive here is triggered by a request/desire. This one is PACKED with subjunctive verbs!



3. Azul – Natalia Lafourcade 


Azul has themes you could discuss at length with advanced classes. You’ll find the subjunctive triggered by the form of “tengo miedo que…”



4. Ojalá Que Llueva Café – Juan Luis Guerra


Here you can find a lot of the Ojalá que + verbs, in the context of a social-justice oriented song. 


6. Sólo Le Pido a Dios


With Sólo Le Pido a Dios, you’re exposing your students to the subjunctive while giving them an amazing dose of the best of Latino culture. There are many, many covers of this song. I’ve included a few below– it might be nice to listen and compare versions. 






6. Que Suenen los Tambores – Victor Manuelle 


It’s almost impossible to listen to this one without dancing. There’s a ton of the subjunctive mood, mixed in with a lot of commands.



7. Exigimos – Doctor Krapula


I am *not* very good at branching out into diverse genres, so here’s my attempt. If your class like punk rock, they’ll love this one and it’s message of making the planet & world a better place. 



8. Sería Feliz – Julieta Vengas 


If you’re moving into the imperfect subjunctive, this is a good one to start with. Includes examples of si ______, sería feliz. 



9. Si No Te Hubieras Ido


There are lots of version of this one! I’m including my favorites. It’s only one line that has the huberias ido phrase, but it’s a memorable one and might be a good introduction to the imperfect subjunctive. 




10. Si Yo Fuera un Chico – Beyoncé


This will definitely be a conversation starter and a memorable way to learn “fuera.” There’s a lot of conditional, as well .




What subjunctive songs did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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The Best Spanish Podcasts for All Levels & Learners

The Best Spanish Podcasts for All Levels & Learners

Inside: The best Spanish podcasts for learning at home.


Most people will tell you that the best way to keep up your Spanish is to use it. That’s certainly ideal, and conversation will improve your fluency in speaking. However, there’s nothing that will affect your proficiency like getting language into your head. 

For those of us who are non-native speakers, podcasts are a perfect solution for learning more. As a non-native teacher and parent of bilingual kids, speaking all day isn’t enough: I need good input too! While I love my Spanish shows on Netflix, the flexibility of podcasts can’t be beat: up your proficiency while commuting to work, folding laundry, or exercising. Win-win!

Here are awesome podcasts, whether you’re a beginner or looking to brush up on your skills. 

The Best Spanish Podcasts (for Free)


Personally, I get frustrated when I think I’ve found a great new resource and then realize it’s not free. I don’t mind paying for quality; I just like to know up front. So here are your totally podcasts in Spanish with totally free audio that stands on its own (even if transcripts or other perks are paid options). 


1. RadioAmbulante

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced. 

Produced by NPR, the stories in this podcast are compelling with top-quality production. Topics include currents events and cultural themes, with a special emphasis on Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. You can search episodes by theme and country. 

I recommend this podcast for learners who can converse comfortably in Spanish, but need to keep up their skills or are teaching advanced classes. 

Transcripts in Spanish and English are included.  



Levels: Intermediate to Advanced. 

Going to the Listado de episidios is the easiest way to start navigating this extensive site. All of the episodes can be listened to on the site, and include a transcript. 

Although the site offers “Spanish 101 lessons”, they are really grammar lessons in Spanish and would be very difficult for beginners on their own. There are a ton of videos on YouTube as well.

The only cost for the site is if you want to purchase their audiobooks. 


3. Spanish Obsessed

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Lisa and Rob co-host this podcast, which has dozens of well-produced episodes. Even the very first levels are conversation-based, and all episodes include transcripts. Rob is a learner and Lisa is native speaker (from Colombia, which tends to be an easier accent for beginners in my opinion). They have a nice pace and a relaxed way about chatting together.

Translations, exercises and downloads are for purchase, but once you sign up you get access to the podcasts.  



4. DuoLingo

Level: Intermediate 

I LOVE that DuoLingo decided to focus on stories for their new podcast. It’s a little different, in that it switches back and forth between Spanish and English. I am not sure what to think about that, but I appreciate the compelling nature of the Spanish, and that it’s not a translation back and forth. The speed and language are great for intermediate learners. 

Transcripts are included, too!



5. Español Automático

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced

Another excellent option from Spanish native speakers, this one features podcasts centered on themes or certain grammar structures. This is a good one for learners who speak and understand, but want to refine their skills or fine-tune weak spots. 

Here’s a link to see all the podcasts at a glance (easier than navigating from the home page). 



6. Notes in Spanish

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

A mix of Spanish and English, Notes in Spanish focuses functional language you hear “on the street.” This is not straight immersion-style, but rather teaches important, every day phrases at the beginning, with pauses so you can repeat the after the speakers. At the beginner level, there is more explanation than conversation. As you move up, it becomes more natural conversation.

You’ll find that Ben and Marina, the hosts, are very relaxed and assuring. Ben is a learner, and Marina is a native speaker.

You will want to listen to this podcast in order, as each episode refers to previous episodes. Once you get to the iTunes stores, it’s VERY easy to go from episode to episode, which I like, and the website is easy to navigate. 

7. Profedele

Levels: Intermediate to Advanced

This is another new Podcast, with 12 episodes so far. Each episode focused on a different topic. If you teach by unit, these are helpful as you can probably find something to align with what you’re studying. 

Each podcast comes with a transcript in Spanish, and can be streamed on YouTube or Cloudstream.



Partially Free Spanish Podcasts


It’s hard to find podcasts for true novices. Your best bet might be following a channel on YouTube like Dreaming Spanish, which you can slow down (when you click on the settings button in the lower right corner) and where you’ll still have some visuals. But here are my best suggestions for those who’ve learned some but are still getting started. 


1. News in Slow Spanish

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

(Though beginner levels are technically offered, they seem to be grammar modules primarily in English– keep that in mind.)

When they call this one “News in Slow Spanish,” they actually mean it: the speakers are clear, slow, and enunciated. I like the option of speakers from Spain or Latin America, and each episode has the transcript below. More difficult parts are bolded, and hovering over those phrases shows a translation.

With the basic, free access, you can still listen to current news clips. The transcripts, grammar, quizzes, and a few more features include higher subscription costs. 


2. Coffee Break Spanish

Levels: Beginner to Intermediate – Advanced

Coffee Break Spanish produces high-quality podcasts, beginning with lessons for novices and more conversational as the levels move up. The site is a little tricky to navigate, and it helps just to go to iTunes or the Android version, to access all the free podcasts in one place. 




3. Podcasts in Spanish

Levels: Intermediate – Advanced 

It was unclear on the site what the levels meant, but Level 1 already seemed to be intermediate. If you want worksheets and transcripts you have to pay, but all of the audio is free. There are a TON of audio files here. 




More Spanish Listening Resources


Here I’ve collected resources that aren’t podcasts, but still are helpful to know about!


1. Spanish Proficiency Exercises

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Totally free, this is a very organized site with clips of native speakers addressing specific topics.  Each topics will have a variety of speakers with different accents, answering the same questions. 

Includes transcripts in both English and Spanish. 



2. Practica Español

Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Wow. This site is new to me, but it is incredible. It contains some Spanish lessons and a huge database of news articles. When you click on “Noticias,” you can choose levels A, B, or C to only see articles and audio that fit what level you need. This is one of the few sites I’ve seen that truly has novice-level reading and audio based on actual news topics, not just explanations or grammar.

Additionally, most articles have a real news clip in Spanish, with comprehension questions, and then related some grammar and vocabulary in context. Definitely bookmark this one!


3. Spanish Listening

Level: Beginner to Advanced

These video archives of native speakers are really easy to search: grammar, level, topic, or country. 


4. Curiosamente

Level: Advanced

Created by native speakers, for native speakers, this is a YouTube channel that explores fascinating questions like “Why is the sky blue?” and “Why do we have Deja Vú? 



Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish podcasts? Let me know in the comments!


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National Foreign Language Week: The Best Resources for Schools

National Foreign Language Week: The Best Resources for Schools

Inside: Ideas and resources for National Foreign Language Week


National Foreign Language Week was founded in 1957 to help make students understand the importance of studying a second language. (I prefer the term World Language Week, but didn’t get to choose it myself. So I’ll use the term that Google can find!) This is the perfect week to shine the light on your Spanish program: parental and administrative buy-in always helps.

First, I’ll list a few ideas from other teachers for celebrating the week. Then, I’ve collected videos and articles that talk about the incredible benefits of language learning, to share with your classes or school community. There’s no substitute for letting the magic of Spanish speak for itself– through authentic communication, stories, and music in class– but sometimes a handy video or visual helps!


National Foreign Language Week Resources


Suggestions from fellow teachers for awareness at school:


11 Fun Facts About SpanishInfographic More Fun Facts About Spanish by


Resources on language learning:


1. How Learning A New Language Makes You More Tolerant



2. Sorry STEM, Google Just Made the Case for More Foreign Language Education

This is an AWESOME article about how “The soft skills valued in leaders are byproducts of foreign language acquisition.” Language learning isn’t just good for you and the world: it develops skills valued by future employers.


3. How Languages Evolve


Learn a little about the history of languages with this video:


4. The Benefits of a Bilingual Brain


An excellent 5-minute introduction to the science and benefits of bilingualism.


5. Speaking A Second Language Makes You Smarter


I haven’t been able to verify the research behind this video, but it lists a lot of benefits I’ve personally experienced. 


6. How Languages Are Connected


This is a beautiful graphic that shows the origins of the world’s major languages.

Click to see the full, original print from Minna Sundberg


7. How Learning Languages Affect Our Brain:


How Learning Languages Affects Our Brain #infographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan

Awesome Spanish Songs for Upper Elementary Classes

Awesome Spanish Songs for Upper Elementary Classes


 Inside: Spanish song for upper elementary students: a clean & comprehensible playlist. 


Many Spanish teacher struggle to find good resources for upper elementary students. For students in 4th-6th, especially, most song options either feel baby-ish or have themes that are too mature. 

So my latest challenge is finding songs that are appropriate, fun, and comprehensible for these ages!


Spanish Songs for Upper Elementary


If you have any suggestions, or cautions about the song I’ve chosen, let me know! I’d like to hit twenty song for this list. 


1. Un Poco Loco – Coco


Here’s a catchy song from the ever-popular Coco. The entire song may not be comprehensible, but the line “un poco loco” certainly will be.



2. Soy Yo – Bomba Estereo


Soy Yo actually features a protagonist who’s upper-elementary-aged, with a positive message and video. AND it has good high-frequency words! 



3. Vivir Mi Vida


One of the best songs for novices out there, this one works for elementary students too! If you ever teach voy a + infinitives, there’s no better song: reír, bailar, vivir, gozar, llorar. If you use this one, be sure to grab Vivir Mi Vida FREE Activity Sheet .



4. Fronteras – Gaby Moreno 


This is one of my eternal favorites. The music, video, and lyrics are just beautiful. Tons of high-frequency words, especially in the yo from: rio, bailo, tengo, voy a, puedo, sueño, pertenenzco.



5. Los Pollitos Dicen


This one IS meant for little kids, but it’s also authentic. So I use it even with high schoolers, always assuring them that we’re learning it because it’s a classic in Hispanic culture. It almost always go over really well, and I have a freebie to go with it that doesn’t feel baby-ish at all: Los pollitos dicen Free Activity Sheet. 




6. Yo Contigo, Tú Conmigo – Alvaro Soler


Minions + awesome music + high-frequency words = yes please!  



7. Hola Amigo – Basho & Friends


Basho and Friends is one of the few people creating learner songs that feel “older.” He has a ton of options on his YouTube, and you should find that your older elementary students enjoy his style. 



8. Puedo Ir Al Baño – Sr. Wooly 


I promise this will be a huge hit with your classes. Seriously.



9. Nuqui (Te Quiero Para Mi) – ChocQuibTown 


I love ChocQuibTown, and love including their music to add some diversity to my music selection. The video is as gorgeous as the the music.  



10. Mi Niña Dulce


I *think* this works as a 4-6th grade introduction to cumbia! If the shirtless band members are too much in the first video, the 2nd might be better. This song is VERY fast– consider slowing it down in the settings button in the lower right corner. 




11. La Bamba


Here’s a great one if you want to mix current songs with old classics. 



12. Querido Tommy – Tommy Torres


For the most, I think most teachers are looking for non-romantic when it comes to 4-6th grades. However, if you don’t mind a bit of a love story, this song is SO good and models letter-writing. 



13. Madre Tierra – Chayanne


Happy, positive music with environmental themes. I recommend using a choreographed video like the one below, since the dancing in the original video won’t work for class. 



14. Waka Waka – Shakira


Waka Waka is a Shakira classic that stay appropriate and will definitely appeal to any spots-lovers in your classroom. Your students will always know how to say “Esto es...” after this one!



15. El Mismo Sol – Alvaro Soler


I wouldn’t use the original video (and beware kids might look it up at home– a bit of sensual dancing). The lyrics are great, though! 



16. Ojalá Que Llueva Café – Juan Luis Guerra


The language in this song may not be quite as comprehensible, but it’s a fun way to introduce merengue. Kid World Citizen has a fun post on this!



17. Limón y Sal


The original video is kind’ve weird, so I would show this one. Julieta’s music is great because she has such a clear voice & accent. 



18. Los Caminos de la Vida


This is a classic that is appropriate for elementary, with a good comprehensible chorus. 


19. Internacionales


Great storyline & world culture, with somos repeated over and over!

What songs did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!


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The Best Authentic Spanish Songs with Reflexive Verbs

The Best Authentic Spanish Songs with Reflexive Verbs

 Inside: Authentic Spanish songs with reflexive verbs: a classroom playlist.


I have collected lots of LONG Spanish music playlists… but sometimes teachers are looking for something specific. If you are looking for songs packed with reflexive verbs / pronouns, here’s your more targeted list!

(If you’re looking for more lists of Songs in Spanish by theme and category, I have a ton you can browse through or save for later.)

Let’s take a tour of our top picks!


Spanish Songs with Reflexive Verbs


Of course, always preview, and let me know if you have any suggestions or comments about the song here. 


1. ¿Con Quién Se Queda El Perro? – Jesse y Joy


Here’s a great song about a couple breaking up and having to decide who gets the dog. You’ll get good examples of pronouns, especially in the chorus. (The official video is great, but contains one scene at 0:20 you probably won’t want to show in class– if not, use the lyrics video below.)



2. Me Voy – Julieta Venegas 


Julieta Venegas has a nice clear accent, and I love her songs. The chorus is great for introducing reflexive verbs in the context of “yo.”


3. Y No Hago Más Na – El Gran Combo


So many reflexive pronouns in this classic Spanish song, and even ordered to explain the events of a day. 

If you want some more explicit highlights of the grammar:



4. Di Que No Te Vas – Morat


I really love Morat. This song is actually not full of reflexive pronouns– it’s mostly just “no te vas“– but that line gets repeated over and over again. If you teach object pronouns first, and then reflexives, you could compare and contrast with the lines that are full of object pronouns. If you teach reflexives, just focused on the chorus– they’ll never forget te vas!

If you teach through CI without much targeting, just enjoy. 


5. Te Mueves Tú, Se Mueven Todo


This song is super-fun, and the second video includes a lesson on how to to the dance (not G-rated– preview and see what you think). 



6. Cuando Me Enamoro – Enrique Iglesias y Juan Luis Guerra 


Juanes is another iconic Latin singer and Es por ti is one of his best love songs. I love this live version. 



7. Sin miedo a nada – Alex Ubago 


If you are looking for all sorts of pronouns together, this song provides lots of examples of both, to compare and contrast. Or just enjoy this Spanish classic!



8. Maquíllate – Mecano


If you like repetition, this one’s for you! A tongue-in-cheek song about make-up.


9. Somos novios – Andrea Bocelli y Christina Aguilera


Unlike most of the other songs listed here, this one focuses on “nos _____.” If you want a classic, use this one!



In researching this post, I came across more resources for reflexives. I’m just including them in a list here in case you need some more ideas!


What romantic song did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

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