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. This means as much exposure to listening and reading as you can possibly get!
Language acquisition proceeds best when the input is not just comprehensible, but really interesting, even compelling; so interesting that you forget you are listening to or reading another language. – Stephen Krashen
And lucky for all you Spanish learners out there, there are many excellent, compelling options for listening now, thanks to the rise of Spanish podcasts. For those of us who are non-native speakers, podcasts are a perfect solution for getting quality input.
As a non-native teacher and parent of bilingual kids myself, 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: you can improve your proficiency while commuting to work, folding laundry, or exercising. Win-win!
Here are the best Spanish podcasts out there, whether you’re a beginner or looking to brush up on your advanced skills. I even include some suggestions for kids at the end!
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 podcasts in Spanish with totally free audio that stands on its own (even if transcripts or other perks are paid options).
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.
Going to the Listado de episodios 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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
Levels: Beginner Intermediate
Discover Spanish is an organized podcast that moves through introductory phrases in well-paced 15-minute chunks. The main structure is a presentation of new phrases with some explanation and then a chance to repeat them several times. Learners who like concise lessons and the chance to try out speaking as they listen will enjoy this podcast.
I think this podcast would work best for beginners who are also using apps or books to learn Spanish, and want an extra audio component to reinforce what they’ve been reading and learning.
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.
Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Nate and Andrea are a married couple who produce this conversational-style podcast. Nate is a non-native speaker, and Andrea is a native speaker with a Latin American accent. Her accent is clear and accessible to learners. They cover a variety of interesting topics and will help Spanish learners keep up their fluency and listening skills.
Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
Oscar is the host for this Spanish podcast, a native speaker from Spain who speaks with a clear, steady accent. He alternates between a conversational, story-telling style and vignettes of information about the Spanish language and culture.
This is an impressive and extensive collection of almost 150 podcasts for improving your listening skills. Most episodes include a transcript and lesson outline on the website.
Levels: Beginners to Intermediate
The Extra Chunky Spanish is an innovative new podcast and different from the others in this post. A mix of Spanish and English, each episode examines a song in Spanish. The panel discusses the background of the song, spends time discussing the lyrics, and also dives into culture.
The website includes extensive materials you can read or download for continued study and exposure to language in context.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
Levels: Beginner – Advanced
Although Spanish Pod 101 offers an extensive library of free podcasts, it’s also a little hard to navigate and is mixed with podcasts promoting their site. This podcast stands out from others because many lessons include video and subtitles, which many learners will definitely enjoy. If you can figure out how to find what you want to listen to, you’ll find an extensive array of listens from native speakers, on a variety of topics. Worth an explore!
The Best Spanish Podcasts for Kids
There aren’t many Spanish podcasts for kids yet, but here’s what I’ve found so far!
Levels: Intermediate to Advanced
La estación azul de niños is a family radio show created for children 3 and up. The episodes center on children’s literature, conversation, play, music and imagination.
Allegro Mágico is a beautiful podcast in Spanish that introduces kids to classical music. Each episode is designed to expose children to famous classical pieces and tell the story behind them. The creator is a native speaker from Mexico who wanted to have something to play in the background while her children played or rode around in the car. This one is perfect for families to listen to together, and best for bilingual kids.
Levels: Intermediate – Advanced
Here you and your kids can listen to classic fairy tales and folk tales in Spanish. Each brief episode features a short telling of a famous story, which creator Andrés Escobar García recorded for his son “and anyone else who would like to listen.”
More Spanish Listening Resources
Here I’ve collected resources that aren’t podcasts, but still are helpful to know about!
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.
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!
Level: Beginner to Advanced
These video archives of native speakers are really easy to search: grammar, level, topic, or country.
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?
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