Things Bilingual Moms Do In Public

Things Bilingual Moms Do In Public

Inside: Thing bilingual moms do.

 

Mothering is interesting. So full of sweet moments!.. and also full of moments in which we would clearly choose teleportation of the entire family as our superpower. 

Sometimes I think my kids save up those “special moments” for the grocery store, the playground, or the dinner table at somebody else’s house. We react and handle things as best we can, hoping it’s the right thing to do. 

And sometimes, multilingualism saves the day. What can I say? Being bilingual– especially when you live in a fairly monolingual place– does give us some extra options. 

You can’t assume who speaks what around you, but it’s confession time. Here are five things I’ve actually done as a bilingual mom. Dads probably do them too. 

 

 

1. Make dire threats in the minority language.

Angry Comedy GIF by Bounce_TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Er… I mean, redirect. Some moms have to rely on that look; we can straight up say what we need to say in that grocery store line. 

 

2. Bribe our children in the minority language.

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Bribery is universally frowned upon in the parenting world, even though I’m pretty sure everybody does it. The good thing is we can get away with it.  Everybody around thinks we just repeated ourselves in a firm voice, and it magically worked. I’ll take it!

 

3. Redirect our kids in the majority language (for the benefit of other nearby parents). 

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Here’s a time to break out of the minority language: when your kids clearly need redirection, and you need all the other parents around to know you’re on it.

“Honey, let that little girl have a turn too,” exchange a smile with the mom across the playground, and you’re good to go.

 

4. Breathe a sigh of relief when our children say something rude(after realizing nobody understood it).

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Children say what they think: it’s a fact of life. It can also be horribly embarrassing. When my son once remarked that a nearby man looked like a wolf, I just prayed that the gentleman was monolingual and took the chance to quietly explain why he has to be careful saying things like that. The fact that is was said in English (and hopefully not understood) helped me play it cool and make the most of that teachable moment. 

 

5. Translate the positive…

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My three-year-old speaks whatever language she wants, in the moment. Did she just say something polite and adorable? Well, allow me to translate that for you. 

 

…and lie about the negative. 

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OH MY GOSH you CANNOT say that out loud.”
He loves it. Thank you sooo much.”
Don’t judge me but yes, yes, yes I’ve done this one.

 

6. Say sappy things to our kids without embarrassing them.

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Kids too embarrassed to show affection in front of their friends? No problem if they’re bilingual. You can sneak in all the mushy-gushy things you want as you drop them off at school. And maybe you’ll get that “love you mom” back, even when they’re “too old” to say it. 

 

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love being a Spanglish family. Of course, Spanish and English are widely spoken languages, and I should probably get going on a third, more obscure language, if I want to use of these “strategies” more effectively. #goals

 

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Things Bilingual Moms Do

Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Spanglish Movies and Series on Netflix

Inside: Spanglish movies and series on Netflix. 

 

In the U.S., languages other than English have a way of dying. By the second or third generation, Italians and Swedes had generally lost their native speech, but some speculate Spanish may prove to be the an exception

Spanglish could be seen as a slippery slope of mixed language, such that heritage speakers lose their Spanish. If that’s all kids hear, it’s certainly a possibility. But for my part, I love the influx of Spanglish into American media and pop culture. Spanglish is my life. A third pure English, a third pure Spanish, and a third Spanglish. 

So when Netflix start airing shows with Spanglish families like mine, I watch. I like seeing my world on screen and I think it says to my kids: Spanish is something to celebrate. Multilingualism is a great thing. 

And also… some of you are in Spanglish relationships. You may love Spanish-language shows, but perhaps your partner isn’t so excited about reading subtitles for the next month. Here’s your compromise!

 

Spanglish Movies and Shows

 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update! This is a mix of family-friendly series and not-so-family-friendly, so please be sure to click on the title and check ratings. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 

1. Jane the Virgin 

 

Three generations of Latinas living under one roof star in this amazing Spanglish show. Jane’s world is forever turned upside down when she’s accidentally inseminated by her gynecologist. What ensues is a mostly light-hearted (but often poignant) story of how different generations, cultures, and genders come around Jane’s new life and baby. Anyone who has watched telenovelas will appreciate the purposely humorous and dramatic references throughout the show. 

 

 

2. Un Día a la vez (One Day at a Time) 

 

It’s hard not to love this show! Again, here we have three generations under one roof, this time a Cuban-American family, working out life, culture, and family together. This is truly a Spanglish show, with dialogue going back and forth between languages as different generations communicate. This is a family-friendly show (TV-PG) you might be able to watch with your older kids. 

(One thing I love is that several characters try to learn more Spanish, and are shown making an effort to keep up with their heritage or new language.)

 

 

3. Narcos

 

Completely switching genres, Narcos follows the pursuit of Pablo Escobar and other drug lords in Colombia. Unlike several previous shows, this one is told entirely from the American perspective. Gritty and suspenseful, Narcos is one of those series that pulls you in and is hard to turn off. 

 

 

4. Casa de Mi Padre

 

Ok, Casa de Mi Padre is technically all in Spanish, but since Will Ferrell isn’t a native speaker I’m claiming it as Spanglish material. Playing on every telenovela stereotype out there, this one will be funniest for those who are familiar with both U.S. and Latino culture and humor.

How to know if you’ll like it? Well, if you like both Will Ferrell and Gael García Bernal… this one’s for you. 

 

 

5. Entre Nos

 

Based on a true story, a Colombian mother travels New York with her two children, only to be abandoned by her husband once there. She must improvise and find a way to survive on her own, by collecting cans in the city trash.

 

 

6. Ladrones

 

When a wealthy woman steals land from a group of hard-working Texan families, they seek help from a legendary Robin Hood pair in Mexico to steal the title back. A funny, action-packed movie not meant to be taken too seriously. Watch when you’re in the mood to watch the good guys triumph and the bad guys get what they deserve. 

 

 

What other Spanglish series and movies can I add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

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Spanglish shows on Netflix

 

 

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

 Inside: The best Netflix Spain movies. 

 

Netflix, with its ever-expanding range of options, has a growing selection of made-in Spain movies and shows. I’ve got some great titles for you here, whether you’re a native speaker or looking to keep up your Spanish skills. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

 

NETFLIX SPAIN MOVIES

 

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

1. Contratiempo (Invisible Guest)

 

A wealthy businessman is accused of murder and seeks the help of a famous lawyer to mount a defense as the last hours of his trial wind down. His storytelling of those events takes us down a darkening path of twists and turns, and unexpected revelations. I multitasked quite a bit while preparing this blog post and watched movies, but this movie had my full attention, and me on the edge of my seat. If you like suspense, this is a must-watch with incredible acting.

Info: Mystery, Thriller | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

 

2. Perdiendo el norte (Off Course)

 

A light-hearted comedy about two Spaniards who can’t find a job in Spain (despite being over-qualified on paper). Fed up with Spanish life, they move to Berlin in hopes of finding work, only to end up in a café. Life in Berlin comes with new romance, but also a host of cultural differences to navigate.

Info: Romantic Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2015

 

 

3. Fe de etarras (Bomb Scared)

 

Four Basque terrorists are trying to plan an attack on Spain. They wait for orders from “above,” in a Spanish apartment, and have to deal with everyday life and neighbors while unsure of the future. A dark comedy that was surprisingly compelling and funny. 

Info:  Comedy  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2017

 

 

4. Ocho apellidos (Spanish Affair)

 

“Cuando el sur y el norte chocan, el conflicto alcanza proporciones épicas.” Spanish culture collides when a Sevillian falls for a woman from Basque– even though he’s never before left his hometown. I didn’t love the chemistry between the main actors, but still enjoyable and cute. 

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2014

 

 

5. Ocho apellidos catalanes (Spanish Affair 2)

 

The couple we met in the Spanish Affair (Rafa and Amaia) have broken up. Amaia is engaged to a Catalonian her father doesn’t like, so he enlists help from Rafa to win her back and break off the new engagement. I enjoyed this one more than the first and found it more convincing, especially the storylines between the supporting characters. If you like the Spanish Affair, definitely follow up with this one.

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2015

 

 

6. 100 metros (100 Meters)

 

Based on a true story about a man with a young family who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Determined to resist the disease as long as he can, he commits to training for an Ironman– with the help of his father-in-law, who has troubles of his own. I sobbed by the end; keep tissues nearby for this heart-wrenching and inspiring story.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish |  2016

 

 

 

7. La reina de España (The Queen of Spain) 

 

It’s 1956, and an American film company is making a movie about Isabel and Ferdinand, at the request of Franco– and Macarena Granada, now a big name in Hollywood, returns to her native Spain after 20 years to star in it. I found it slow and forced overall, but there’s a deep undercurrent of complicated Spanish history and a cast of actors that many viewers will enjoy nonetheless. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio  |  2016

 

 

8. El bar (The Bar)

 

A group of people are trapped in a bar in Madrid, after two people are shot and mysteriously disappear. As they try to figure out what is happening outside– terrorism? the end of the world?– tensions and suspicions rise inside the bar.

Info: Comedy, Horror, Thriller |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2017

 

 

9. Ahora o nunca (It’s Now or Never)

 

A couple who got together in a fairytale high school romance is getting married. The week of the wedding turns nightmare as everything goes wrong, quirky friends and family in tow. 

Info: Comedy |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2015

 

 

10. Nuestros amantes (Our Lovers)

 

Different from the usual rom-com storyline, this romantic “dramady” follows a couple who meet in a coffeeshop and decide to maintain an out-the-box-friendship: no exchange of personal information, and no romance. Things go beautifully until their personal lives intersect with fantasy, and they must confront reality.

Info:  Romance, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016

 

 

11. 7 Años (7 Years)

 

Four friends are in business together, and have committed tax fraud. If one of them volunteers to go to jail for seven years, the company came remain intact and the other friends can walk free. The question is which one? They hire a consultant to help decide who it should be. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2016

 

 

12. Palmeras en la nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow)

 

A Spanish woman travels to Africa in hoping to unearth old family secrets, after finding a letter her dying father left behind. The story moves between her search and forbidden love in the time of colonialism. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2015

 

 

13. A cambio de nada (Nothing in Return)

 

A coming-of-age story about a troubled teenager figuring out life and getting into trouble with his best friend. Poignant at times, tough at others, A Cambio de Nada explores adolescence in the context of trouble at school, trouble at home, and finding friendship.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

13. Secuestro (Boy Missing)

 

A young boy is kidnapped, and his suspected kidnapper gets off on a technicality. The boy’s mother, a respected attorney, takes matters into her own hands and events soon spiral out of control. (I didn’t actually watch this one– after becoming a mom I just can’t handle scary things involving kids!)

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

13. El guardián invisible (The Invisible Guardian)

 

A young woman’s body is found in the woods, and female inspector Salazar is put on the case. As she investigates the murder and begins to follow the case of a serial killer, she must confront her own past. (I didn’t watch this one either, but if you like serial killer murder-mysteries, this one’s for you.)

Info:  Thriller  |  Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles  |  2017

 

What other Netflix Spain movies do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

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Netflix Spain movies

15 Powerful Spanish Songs About Immigration

15 Powerful Spanish Songs About Immigration

Inside: Spanish songs about immigration: a playlist. 

 

While researching for a post on immigration, I decided to look into songs. And wow– I came across some amazing music. These shouldn’t be missed, so I’m devoting a whole post to them. 

I think it’s hard to teach a unit on immigration. If you have a large population of immigrant families, the topic obviously hits close to home. For other classrooms, the temptation to apply stereotypes and generalize is huge. If our resources are lopsided, just one story gets told: it’s easy for students to walk away assuming every undocumented immigrant has a similar back story, or that most immigrants are undocumented.

In reality, people move countries for varied reasons, and under many circumstances. With these songs, I hope to offer more than “one story,” so your students can connect to varied artistic voices and perspectives.

(If you’re looking for more lists, see my Songs in Spanish page.)

 

Spanish Songs About Immigration

 

I attempted to attach a level to each song– hopefully it’s accurate. By saying a song is novice-high, I don’t mean that a NH student will immediately understand every word. I mean that with some teacher support, the song will be useful and largely comprehensible. The students could read it over it and get the gist. 

(PLEASE be mindful that several songs here will be difficult to watch, especially for families that have been affected by deportation experiences.)

 

1. Pobre Juan

 

Maná wrote this song in 2002, around the time that border crossings were at an all-time high. It’s written in story-form, and heavy. Maná says this: 

Pobre Juan” … es una triste realidad que sucede todos los días, una historia de Juan y miles de inmigrantes mexicanos y Latinoamericanos que fallecen en la lucha de cruzar la frontera (y) fallecen o desaparecen.

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up, narrated in past tense.)

 

 

2. Fronteras – Gaby Moreno 

 

While not officially an immigration song, the themes (“fronteras,” “esperanza,” and “yo pertenezco aquí“) lend themselves well to the topic. The song shows scenes and stories from Guatemala, which is where was Gaby Moreno was born before relocating to the U.S.

I like using this one because it offers hopeful language and music, while showing beautiful scenes and strong characters from Guatemala. 

(Level: Novice-High and up, mostly present tense.)

 

 

3. Un Besito Más – Jesse y Joy 

 

This one is powerful. Un Besito Más shows the story of a couple attempting to make a new life in the U.S. after crossing the border, and the terrible complications of children who have citizenship being separated from undocumented parents. It’s written from the perspective of a child who stayed in the U.S. after her parents were deported.

(Level: Novice-High and up. Lots of imperfect tense and present tense.)

 

While working with this song, I made some slides with screenshots from the video that narrate the story, using mostly past tenses. Feel free to use! (The editable version is available as part of my Voces de los inmigrantes Song Pack.) 

 

 

4. ICE El Hielo – La Santa Cecilia

 

Ice El Hielo gets a bit more political, and was produced as part of the #Not1More series. The video shows vignettes of Latino immigrants living the U.S., who later get taken by ICE and deported. Hard to watch, for sure, but reflects the reality and uncertainty of living and working without documents here. 

(Level: Novice-High and up, with support. Mix of tenses.)

 

I also made some slides for this one, using simple language for novices, in the present tense. Feel free to use! (The editable version is also available as part of my Voces de los inmigrantes Song Pack.) 

 

 

5. Ave Que Emigra

 

Another Gaby Moreno favorite, this song describes her personal experience of emigrating to the U.S. 

“Recuerdos desde mi infancia
Que a veces parten el alma
Mi Guate nunca la olvido
La llevo siempre conmigo…”

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up, due to some low-frequency phrases. The video works well for discussing present life vs. past experiences.)

 

 

6. A Las Tres – Enanitos Verdes 

 

A Las Tres is written from the perspective of an immigrant working far away from his family, and sending money home to support them. This is a powerful perspective on the conflict of wanting (or needing) the opportunities found in the U.S., while yearning for home. 

(Level: Novice-Mid and up. Mainly present tense and comprehensible phrasing.)

 

7. Mis Dos Patrias – Los Tigres del Norte

 

Los Tigres del Norte have several immigration-themed songs (Mojados Tres Veces, Jaula de Oro), but I included this one because it explores a lightly different theme: actually living in the this, as a new citizen, and feeling split between two identities.

(Level: Novice-High and up, I think. With some support upfront, the song is pretty accessible.)

 

 

Songs 1-7 are available part of my Voces de los inmigrantes Song Pack. Check it out if you’d like some ready-to-go printables and activities, or keep scrolling!

 

8. Papeles Mojados – Chambao

 

If you want something outside the typical Latino-US box, here’s your immigration song in Spanish. 

(Level: Intermediate- Mid and up.)

 

9. Pa’l Norte – Calle 13 

 

Use this one with caution in class– preview for sure. It’s one of the most provoking songs out there, both in the video and lyrics. 

Hoy me voy Pa’l norte sin pasaporte
Sin transporte
A pie, con las patas
Pero no importa este hombre se hidrata
Con lo que retratan mis pupilas
Cargo con un par de paisajes en mi mochila
Cargo con vitamina de clorofila
Cargo con un rosario que me vigila
Sueño con cruzar el meridiano

(Level: Intermediate-Low or Mid and up, with lots of metaphorical language.)

 

 

10. El Inmigrante – Calibre 50

 

Piensan que por que brinque la linea
Soy un narcotraficante
Ya basta de mil humillaciones
Nomas por ser “inmigrante”
Estoy cantando por toda mi gente

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)

 

11. El Mojado – Ricardo Arjona

 

El Mojado takes on the term “wetback,” though it’s worth noting that the word in Spanish doesn’t carry quite the same connotations. He describes the experience and anxiety of living without papers in the U.S.

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)

 

12. “Shock” in Arizona – Ana Tijoux

 

A song of protest to abuses of power and discrimination in the American southwest. 

(Level: Intermediate-High and up.)

 

 

13. Lágrimas del Corazón – Grupo Montéz De Durango

 

A tribute to the fathers who leave their children behind to work and send money home, the lyrics switch between a son and a father who are apart. 

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)

 

14. Bandera – Aterciopelados

 

A gripping commentary on immigration, privilege and power. 

(Level: Novice-High and up.)

 

 

15. Clandestino – Manu Chao

 

Reggae-style, this song tells the story about being termed “cladestino” for not having papers. Contains the word marihuana

(Level: Intermediate-Low and up.)

 

 

 

What immigration songs in Spanish did I miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. 

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Spanish songs about immigration

 

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 with 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

 

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.  

 

2. SpanishPodcast.net


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!

 

Like it? Pin it!

 

 

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