spanish listening

Best Resources for Spanish Listening Practice

To be fluent in the language, you have to practice Spanish listening—a lot.

This is made much easier through effective and engaging resources. 

Below, we’ll look at 31 terrific websites to help you amp up your Spanish listening skills.

Contents

Best Spanish Listening Resources

1. Transparent Language

transparent language logo

Level: Beginner

This blog has listening lessons that cover ordinary situations.

Transcripts accompany the conversations so you can see what’s being said and listen to the words simultaneously.

As the lessons progress, the coursework increases in difficulty. This is great for beginners or anyone who wants a refresher on the fundamentals of Spanish.

2. AudioViatorspanish listening practice

Level: Beginner

While AudioViator is intended for travelers, it’s also a great option for Spanish learners.

AudioViator offers narrated Spanish-language travel guides for destinations around the world. This is a great way to practice listening while picking up geography and travel terms.

3. ielanguages.comspanish-listening-practice-3

Level: Intermediate

This website features a wide range of Spanish listening practice options.

There are videos from five Spanish-speaking countries, meaning there’s plenty of diversity among the native speakers.

Not every Spanish dialect sounds the same, and location affects accents and idioms. Who knows? You might hear a new dialect and fall in love with the sound!

4. Easy Spanish

Level: Intermediate

Easy Spanish from Easy Languages offers over 200 unique YouTube videos for listening practice.

Perhaps the best feature is that the audio is from real people from different Spanish-speaking countries, including Mexico, Spain and Peru to get you to understand several regional accents.

The video captions also contain both Spanish and English translations.

5. LibriVox librivox logo

Level: Intermediate

LibriVox takes books already in the public domain and transforms them into e-books and audiobooks for everyone to enjoy for free.

Each book includes a short biography of the author, individual audio files for each chapter, a download option and a link to the online text, which can also be printed.

If you feel this listening method is too complex for entire books, you can always download the audiobooks and listen to them passively while you commute, clean your house or relax on the beach.

6. News in Slow Spanish news in slow spanish logo

Level: Upper Beginner to Intermediate

If you’re an upper beginner or intermediate student who wants to practice listening to Spanish news but aren’t quite ready for the speed of actual newscasts, this is a great option.

News in Slow Spanish offers real news spoken slower than typical conversations.

Additionally, there’s a supporting transcript if you have trouble with the audio. You can even hover over some words for definitions!

7. Gritty Spanishspanish listening practice

Level: Intermediate

Gritty Spanish is a street Spanish course featuring Spanish from Latin America, Spain and New York that will introduce you to the fine art of Spanish cursing.

You’ll hear Spanish that you don’t hear in any other course because everyone else is too afraid to get real.

But be warned—this course is meant for adults who don’t mind politically incorrect topics and vulgarity. However, there’s a censored version for the more sensitive language learner.

Check out our full review here if you want a deeper dive into Gritty Spanish.

8. StoryLearning Spanishspanish listening practice

Level: Intermediate

This Spanish resource has adapted the storytelling method, transforming a long story into short podcast episodes with transcripts.

Each episode of the story is narrated by one of its main characters. The clips include a story fragment (heard twice), the transcript and a glossary with difficult words.

The episodes are around five minutes long, making them perfect for micro-listening sessions.

9. MyLanguageExchange.comspanish-listening-practice-3

Level: Intermediate

With this website, you can join a practice group (or form your own), choose one of the supplied lesson plans and start listening!

The live conversations are face-to-face (if every participant lives in the same area) or using voice chat.

Group members take turns speaking and leading discussions and give gentle corrections regarding pronunciation, grammar points and other issues.

10. HolaSoyGerman

Level: Intermediate

There are many awesome YouTube channels for learning Spanish, but few are as entertaining as HolaSoyGerman (Hello I’m German).

This Chilean YouTuber makes funny videos (with some adult language).

You’ll practice your listening and maybe even pick up some punchlines. Unfortunately, this channel no longer updates, but it has such a great collection of videos that it’ll still be helpful.

11. Radio Ambulantelisten to spanish

Level: Intermediate

I’m a big fan of this podcast site as the content is consistently unique, fun and entertaining.

Take the podcast episode about Copa América,” for example—a huge football tournament in South America.

Or El Superhéroe,” an episode about an Argentine man with a bizarre hobby involving a superhero costume.

The site is a real treat if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary. Plus, some podcasts—like “El Superhéroe”—have transcripts in Spanish and English.

12.El Primer Café(The First Coffee)

spanish listening practice

Level: Advanced

If you want to practice the Argentinian accent, “El Primer Café” might be for you.

This daily podcast covers mainly politics, economics, business and society, so if you’re not an advanced learner, you’ll struggle to understand what’s being said.

Of course, other topics are covered, such as sports, nature and travel, but they mainly talk about what’s going on in Argentina and around the world.

13. Telemundo Videosspanish listening practice

Level: Advanced

Telemundo offers Latin American telenovelas, news, children’s programs and sports in Spanish.

The video section on its site includes hundreds of short clips on business, sports, economics, famous people, politics, health, cooking and exercise, among many other categories.

These short clips generally range between one and three minutes long.

Since the videos are so short, you can use them for active listening and shadowing microsessions anytime, anywhere.

14. LdeLengua (L Is for Language)spanish listening practice

Level: Advanced

LdeLengua is a superb podcast created by native Spanish professors to teach Spanish teachers how to teach.

I recommend it for advanced learners who need challenging listening practice and for any other student who wants to practice shadowing without needing to understand.

The podcast tries to help teachers develop ideas for their classes and offers ways of implementing new technologies into language learning settings in the smoothest way possible.

15. Deutsche Wellespanish listening practice

Level: Advanced

Deutsche Welle includes almost 40,000 audio and video clips.

Choose the type of medium you want (audio or video) and the topic, and you’ll get access to hundreds of hours of native Spanish content in the form of short fragments and full episodes.

Each clip includes a list of topics and keywords that can come in handy when watching, and all content can be downloaded for free.

16. University Lectures

Level: Advanced

Free university lectures are now easy to find online. Pick something you’re genuinely interested in, and chances are you won’t only actively listen, but you’ll truly engage with the language and topic.

You can find online university lectures on sites like these two:

  • FundacionMapfreAn amazing web resource that has compiled lectures covering over 50 topics in Spanish! Topics include history, economics, political affairs and psychology.
  • Universidad A Distancia Madrid—This site has over 14 categories from accounting and translation to criminology and humanities. If you’re a university student, try picking your major from the left tab and listening to a lecture that covers topics similar to the ones you’re currently covering in class.

17. FluentU

Level: All

FluentU lets you practice your listening skills with an engaging visual component. The program teaches the language using video clips from authentic Spanish media including movie trailers, news segments and more. 

This means you can learn Spanish words and expressions in natural contexts. And thanks to the program’s adaptive learning tools, you don’t have to worry about getting lost or overwhelmed.

Every video comes with a transcript and interactive subtitles so you can follow along as you watch and pick up new vocabulary. Personalized quizzes and flashcards will help you review and memorize this vocabulary for later use.

Fluentu-Spanish-Zootopia-Trailer

18. Speechling speechling logo

Level: All

Speechling offers listening modules for Spanish learners from basic to advanced levels.

Choose a level or a topic from the phrasebook to begin. To customize playback options, scroll down on the homepage to set preferences for the speaker’s gender, how fast the dialogue plays and a few other details.

Quizzes come with the listening modules, so it’s a great way to track your progress.

19. Kwiziq

kwiziq logo

Level: All

Divided into five levels (A1-C1), Kwiziq’s listening exercises come in two main types: Audio Practice and Bilingual Readers.

The audio-type exercises include native Spanish audio and dictations. The Bilingual readers give you audio and a transcript (which you can click to get the meaning of each word and phrase).

Kwiziq also tells you the grammar points you’ll practice before you click on a topic.

20. LingQspanish listening practice

Level: All

LingQ is a combination learning tool available on the website and mobile apps.

They have audio resources (like interviews, audiobooks and podcasts), community forums, group classes led by professional instructors, one-on-one Spanish tutoring sessions, goals assessment and more.

21. Lawless Spanishspanish-listening-practice-3

Level: All

Each recording on Lawless Spanish includes a transcript with a side-by-side English translation.

Extras such as grammar tidbits and cultural points of interest relevant to the video or audio are included in the bonus section underneath the translation.

You can also take a quiz that assesses your level using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

Materials are divided by these levels, from A1 to C2, so it’s a snap to find appropriate listening practice for your skill level.

22. SpanishPod101

Level: All

SpanishPod101 is an insanely large library of audio and video goodies, with 1,600 lessons and counting! They’re all accompanied by printable PDF notes, flashcards, community forums and an app for on-the-go learning.

It has material appropriate for all skill levels, from newbie to nearly fluent, and covers nearly every topic. You’ll learn about a range of Spanish themes like vocabulary, grammar, culture and real-life conversations.

Read our full review of SpanishPod101 here if you want a deeper dive into this resource.

23. SpanishListeningspanish listening practice

Level: All

SpanishListening offers a nice selection of neatly organized listening activities for various levels. It focuses on topics like health, animals, sports, hobbies and more.

There are accompanying videos, so if you like to see the person speaking, you can. You can also choose your video by the speaker’s country of origin.

Exercises, transcripts and quizzes accompany the audio, allowing you to test your listening comprehension.

24. Notes in Spanish notes in spanish logo

Level: All

Notes in Spanish offers free podcasts divided into four levels: Inspired Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced and Gold.

All the episodes are in Spanish to ensure an immersive experience. But the Gold Level includes an English analysis of the episode after the Spanish audio. 

You’ll learn about everyday topics in a friendly manner with approachable Spanish that gets more challenging as you progress through the different levels.

25. Spanish Proficiency Exercises (University of Texas)spanish listening practice

Level: All

The University of Texas has compiled hundreds of short video clips for six levels:

  • Beginning
  • Intermediate-A
  • Intermediate-B
  • Advanced-A
  • Advanced-B
  • Superior

Each level includes around 15 topics with several clips for each, and every clip is accompanied by a script you can read in Spanish or English.

Perfect for active listening sessions, these clips come with associated vocabulary lists, grammar explanations and sample sentences related to the topic.

26. Audiblespanish listening practice

Level: All

Audible is a subscription service for audiobooks, offering several great Spanish titles.

Beginning Spanish speakers might try “El Principito” (“The Little Prince”), which uses relatively simple vocabulary.

For more advanced learners, there are a plethora of options, too, including “Bajo La Misma Estrella” (the Spanish title for “The Fault in Our Stars”)—perfect for the John Green fan (i.e., everyone).

27. 123TeachMe Listening Comprehensionspanish listening practice

Level: All

This site offers hundreds of listening activities at four main levels: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Superior.

Each level is broken down into sub-levels to ensure that you find the listening activities perfect for your abilities.

Each activity offers a listening excerpt followed by a series of questions to test your comprehension and help you more thoroughly engage with the audio.

28. Netflixspanish listening practice

Level: All

Believe it or not, your Netflix binge habit doesn’t have to be broken. You can put it to good use by binging on their wide variety of Spanish movies and TV series.

Some great Spanish Netflix movies are out there, so your movie night can be educational.

Netflix even has an entire genre dedicated to Spanish movies, which you can browse here.

29. Live-TV-Radio.comspanish listening practice

Level: All

Listening to Spanish music is always great for listening practice.

Live-TV-Radio.com offers links to stations across Latin America, allowing you to select your country.

From there, you have options for what content you want or even which city the station is based out of. For instance, you might try Continental AM 590 out of Argentina for talk radio, or for music, 959 out of Costa Rica.

30. Lightspeed Spanishlisten to spanish

Level: All

Lightspeed Spanish offers free podcasts for all levels, which mainly cover lessons on grammar, verb tenses and vocabulary.

However, they’re done in such a way that even the most difficult or boring areas are brought to life through video and easy-to-listen-to voices.

I also appreciate the introductory paragraphs and thorough explanations given as a context to each of Lightspeed’s podcasts.

31. Lingua.com lingua.com logo

Level: All

Lingua.com hosts listening “texts” for levels A1 through C1. They’re short dialogue recordings that you listen to before answering questions to test your comprehension.

You can even choose which speaker you want to hear in the texts. For example, on the first text in the A1 & A2 section, you can choose Spanish that’s “slow” or from Argentina, Granada (Spain) or Mexico.

Free accounts have access to 10 texts, and Premium members get 58 texts (across all levels). 

Tips for Practicing Your Spanish Listening Skills

To really practice Spanish listening and improve your comprehension skills, you need to change your technique and just do one thing: Practice active listening.

Active listening is a process during which you actually pay attention to what you’re hearing (as opposed to passive listening, which is basically listening to any kind of audio while you do something else).

You can implement many techniques to practice and improve your active listening skills, but here are six specific ones you can easily do to see results.

Choose Material Appropriate for Your Level

Choosing topics you like is important because you’ll enjoy your practice sessions, but if you choose audio for beginners when you’re an advanced learner, you won’t learn anything.

Likewise, you’ll get frustrated and give up if you go for advanced material while struggling with the beginner level.

Opt for pieces of audio that are a little bit above your level. The perfect scenario would be a short clip from which you can understand around 60-70%. That way you’ll have 30% to learn from.

Take Notes While You Listen

Take notes while you listen for the first time—summarize what you hear, identify grammar constructions, write down new words, etc.—without pausing as much as possible.

After the audio ends, analyze your notes. Look up the words you didn’t understand, look at those grammar rules you didn’t recognize and reread all your notes.

Listen to the Clip One More Time

Next listen to the clip again, paying special attention to the words and constructions you worked on in the previous step.

Without looking at the transcript of the audio yet, you should be able to understand around 90% of what’s being said.

If you’re still struggling to grasp the main ideas, repeat the three previous steps until you summarize the whole clip in one or two sentences.

Practice Your Pronunciation

Next, practice pronouncing the words in the audio by shadowing.

Shadowing is when you repeat after native speakers while listening to audio without stopping it (even if you don’t understand everything that’s said).

Listen to the audio as many times as you need, and practice your pronunciation until you feel confident enough to record yourself shadowing. Then listen to and analyze it to see where you need to improve.

Listen One Final Time

If you have the transcript (which I highly recommend), read it while you listen one final time. 

If you’ve worked on the previous steps appropriately, you should be able to understand the whole fragment with just one final listen, but don’t get frustrated if you need to do two or three.

What’s important is that when you finish your active listening session, you understand absolutely everything from the clip you’ve chosen.

Focus on Culture

Listening to a podcast that gives you valuable insight into the history and culture of a particular Spanish-speaking country will double as listening practice.

You’ll open your eyes to cultural differences you probably hadn’t noticed before. You’ll also have great content to discuss with your Spanish exchange partner.

 

Try some of these 31 Spanish listening resources, and see the difference in your listening comprehension skills.

Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy listening!

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