spanish podcasts

26 Powerful Spanish Podcasts Every Spanish Learner Must Check Out in 2021

So many Spanish podcasts, so little time!

Do you know which ones you should be listening to?

Do you know why they’re so helpful on your way to Spanish fluency?

With so many excellent ones, making the right choice can feel a bit overwhelming.

Worry no more!

I’ve made a selection of 26 superb Spanish podcasts and provided some in-depth descriptions so you can choose the one that suits your needs and taste.

Let’s get started!

Why Listen to Spanish Podcasts?

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the news, podcasts are awesome.

Spanish podcasts are perfect if you want to learn Spanish but don’t have a Spanish-speaking person you can chat with in their native tongue 24/7.

Using textbooks and flashcards is a good start, but they’re not going to get you talking naturally and fluently.

You need to get your head out of your textbook and start hearing real Spanish, the kind that’s spoken by millions of people all over the world.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is with the help of Spanish podcasts since they can really help you hone your listening and speaking skills.

What’s more, they put the fun back into your learning sessions, because you can listen to them anywhere!

Whether you’re sitting in front of a desk, commuting, walking your dog, jogging around the neighborhood or standing in the shower, podcasts can always be there with you (assuming your electronic device is waterproof, of course!).

Can I Learn Spanish Through Podcasts?

Yes!

Here are six reasons why.

  • You can learn at your own speed. Literally! Most of the time, you’ll be able to choose the speed of the audio.
  • You’re hearing native speakers use real Spanish. Podcasts give you a sense of immersion hard to find anywhere else. You’ll be fluent in no time.
  • You’ll broaden your vocabulary. You’ll obviously hear words you don’t know yet. Use them to create flashcards, vocab lists or sample sentences.
  • You’ll learn how words are used. One of the best things about podcasts is that they allow you to listen to Spanish as it’s spoken by native speakers. You’ll learn words in their context, so you’ll know how to use them correctly. By the way, native content and contextual usage are two of FluentU‘s best assets. Give it a try for free today!
  • You can learn about lots of new topics. You choose what you want to listen to. If you get bored during one episode, just click on the next one.
  • You can choose to listen to as much or as little as you want, depending on your schedule. Five minutes while having a shower, 15 minutes during your lunch break, 45 minutes on your commute… You decide!

These are just six examples of all the great benefits listening to podcasts can bring.

But not all podcasts are the same.

While listening to Spanish will always help you one way or another, choosing the right podcast is crucial if you want to make the most out of it.

26 Powerful Spanish Podcasts Every Spanish Learner Must Check Out

Listening to podcasts is taking the fast lane to fluency.

Try the following ones and see your listening comprehension skills turbocharge.

1. Audiria

spanish podcasts

App Storewebsite

Audiria is fresh, fun and fabulous.

This lively and engaging podcast series for Spanish learners of every level was created by two Malaga-based brothers as a non-profit enterprise.

Their aim is to promote the Spanish language and culture, so all the podcast episodes are free.

Audiria is a rich source of Spanish listening material (and when I say rich, I really mean it). While the podcast isn’t regularly updated, there are 820 episodes as of March 2021!

Each one is tagged based on the language complexity, so you’ll know which episodes are suitable for your current level.

The podcast is entirely in Spanish and covers a large variety of real-life situations that go from film reviews and cooking audio lessons to vocabulary sessions and trips to Spanish culture.

Nothing sounds artificial or staged, and learning is supplemented with exercises, grammar resources and language tips, among other goodies.

Pro-tip: Don’t miss the “phrases,” “short phrases” and “idioms” sections.

2. FluentU

App Store | Google Play | website

spanish podcasts

FluentU isn’t a regular Spanish podcast—it’s actually a learning platform where you can learn new words through authentic videos and Spanish audio dialogues, check out annotated definitions, add new interactive flashcards to your own personal vocabulary lists and much more!

Some examples of videos you’ll be able to watch are:

  • “A Morning Around Valencia, Spain”
  • “HBO’s The Pelayos”
  • “Your Emotions Are Contagious”
  • “Man and Science: From Myth to Reason”
  • “Antonio Banderas Learned English”
  • “Three Tips for Public Speaking”
  • “Frida Kahlo’s Life Illustrated”

…Just to name a few.

So, how does FluentU work?

FluentU has a big library of videos and short audio dialogues that cover hundreds of situations and topics.

While the dialogues aren’t too long, they can be very topic-specific, which is great if you’re learning Spanish topic by topic.

The great thing about FluentU’s content is that it covers a range of levels—from complete newbie, all the way to native if you’ve been around Spanish for a while.

What makes FluentU unique is the platform’s design. Within every video or audio dialogue, there’s a full dialogue and vocabulary section covering the main vocabulary and grammar points.

If you go into the audio or video lesson, the audio will start playing, and alongside the track, there are annotated subtitles you can interact with.

Just hover over them—which effectively pauses the audio and zooms in on a word definition—and if you click on the word, it’ll pull up extended examples, saving you the trouble of having to look up every word in the dictionary!

Not to mention, you can add these words to your custom vocabulary list if you want to, helping you keep track of what you learn in each lesson!

Within each lesson, there’s also a Learn feature.

It’s sort of like vocabulary flashcards for you to review all the words you’ve learned up until that point.

What’s unique about this is that for each word that shows, multiple clips where that word is used are also shown below. You can select any of these clips and they’ll play just the section containing that word.

So if you’re looking to learn vocabulary through context and actual examples, FluentU might be a good choice for you!

Pro-tip: Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Play store.

3. Coffee Break Spanish

iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | website

One of the biggest leaders of the Spanish podcast field is Coffee Break Spanish.

This award-winning language course has a large legion of followers and is aimed at learners of all levels.

It features 233 (and counting!) fun episodes of 15-20 minutes each, and it’s divided into four main seasons that represent four language levels:

  • S1 – beginners
  • S2 – intermediate
  • S3 – upper-intermediate
  • S4 – advanced

In addition to this, there are travel diaries, an audio magazine (focused on the history and culture of Spanish-speaking countries), an Espresso section (with episodes that focus on grammar with a cultural touch) and a section called En Marcha (On the move), that covers a trip to Malaga and interviews with the locals.

Your host for these conversational classes is Mark, an experienced language teacher with an exquisite Spanish accent.

He’ll have several native and non-native co-hosts (all of whom speak Spanish fluently) throughout the different episodes, and the best of all is that the conversations build upon each other!

The topics you’ll listen to are as varied as they can be. One day you can learn about finding your way around town or ordering a coffee, and the next about Federico García Lorca or a sunken treasure!

Pro-tip: Have a look at the Blog section if you have the chance to visit the website.

4. SpanishPod101

iTunes | App Store | Google Play | website

One of the really neat things about SpanishPod101 is that you can learn the language from native speakers from different parts of the Spanish-speaking world, including Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico.

That’ll help you learn how Spanish is spoken in different regions you may be traveling to or are interested in. Your accent will be unbeatable, and your speaking skills out of this world.

The episodes are upbeat and enjoyable, and the language they include depends on which of the five levels you’re in.

The dialogues are repeated several times and are supplemented with a wealth of supporting material like transcripts, vocabulary lists, grammar notes and cultural insights.

SpanishPod101 has lessons for beginners all the way up to advanced Spanish language speakers. Sign up for free!

Pro-tip: The one-dollar welcome package is totally worth its price.

5. Spanish Obsessed

iTunes | Spotify | website

Spanish Obsessed offers excellent language-learning programs by a real-life couple of Spanish speakers.

Rob is from London and Liz hails from Colombia, and they’ve put a lot of thought and charm into their work, so you can feel that they both sound like they’re really enjoying the lessons.

The podcasts are divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced, and they include conversational Spanish, the type you’ll hear on the street and in the shops and bars, not in the classroom.

Pro-tip: If you access the podcast through their website, you’ll also have access to a blog and some grammar and vocabulary guides.

6. StudySpanish.com

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The first thing that catches your attention when you listen to these comprehensive Spanish podcasts is the lively music they include.

After the intro, a whole journey into the Spanish language for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers starts.

The lessons are quite formal in structure and revolve around Spanish grammar. Each episode is devoted to a specific grammar topic and is full of helpful explanations.

There’s also a treasure chest of supporting material on the website, including pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary lessons, mini-quizzes and verb drills.

Just about everything is covered in the entire series.

Pro-tip: If you’re really looking for a free podcast series, you’ll have to look somewhere else, since only two episodes are offered for free.

7. PodcastsInSpanish.org

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When you listen to these podcasts, it feels like you’re eavesdropping on a genuine conversation between friends.

The dialogues are presented at normal, native speed. It’s not a coincidence their slogan is “natural conversations, real Spanish.”

The trick here is obviously to try and understand as much about what’s being said as possible. But don’t worry if any or most of it sounds alien to you.

Each podcast is accompanied by a transcript, a worksheet with answers and vocabulary tasks (available only for paying members, though).

Once you’ve worked through those, go back and listen to the podcast again. It should all be clear now.

A lot of thought and effort has been put into making these Spanish podcasts as stimulating as possible since the conversations cover a broad range of subjects. They go from how social networking has changed the way we relate to each other to neighborhood services and even a trip to the zoo.

Pro-tip: You can check the “Freebies” section to get three free sample worksheets.

8. Notes in Spanish

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | website

Notes in Spanish is made by a husband and wife team based in Madrid.

Ben is from England and Marina is a madrileña (a woman from Madrid), and together they offer a trip to full Spanish immersion thanks to their use of real conversational phrases to talk about real-life happenings.

The podcasts are divided into five categories:

  • Inspired Beginners
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Gold (which includes an English analysis after each episode)
  • “3 Words For Ascuas” (with episodes focused on words and phrases).

What’s more, each category is accompanied by worksheets (for a price). Additionally, each episode starts with a recap of the previous one.

This dynamic language duo must be doing something right, as they’ve built up a large following. There have been more than 40 million downloads worldwide of their Spanish audio since 2005!

Pro-tip: Subscribe to their newsletter to get your free “Kickstart Your Spanish” report.

9. Spanishland School

iTunes | Spotify | websitespanish podcasts

 

Spanishland School’s podcast was created by Andrea Alger as a way to bring Latin American Spanish closer to learners.

Mainly conducted in Spanish, this podcast has 287 episodes as of March 2021, and it gets updated every three to five days.

Designed to help intermediate and advanced learners of Spanish get through the intermediate plateau and to fluency, each episode of Spanishland School’s podcast revolves around a grammar or vocabulary topic that’s introduced and explained with the help of tons of examples.

One of the promises the podcasts makes is that you’ll learn how to think and speak like a native speaker.

The content of the episodes is indeed valuable and she’s a native speaker. However, students will notice she speaks excessively slow for the topics and levels at hand.

Pro-tip: Check the blog on the website for more tips and tricks on learning Spanish.

10. The Unlimited Spanish Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | website

spanish podcasts

If you’re a fan of the Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) method, you’re going to love Òscar and his way of teaching Spanish.

With 227 episodes published so far (March 2021), this podcast can be used by any student who’s reached at least the intermediate level or wants to have contact with a crystal-clear Spanish-from-Spain accent at a rather slow speed.

The topics of the episodes go from short stories related to Òscar’s life to cultural and linguistic explanations.

There are also many episodes devoted to Spanish expressions, vocabulary (like money or compliments) and some grammar rules, all delivered in a way that’ll make you feel like you’re being told a fairy tale.

Pro-tip: Sign up to get Òscar’s “5 Pillars for Learning Spanish” mini-course and free samples of his courses.

11. LightSpeed Spanish

iTunes | website

spanish podcasts

Don’t let the simple look of this podcast’s website fool you. LightSpeed Spanish is a great way to learn European Spanish from scratch.

Hosted by Gordon Smith and Cynthia Durán, the episodes of this podcast are divided into four levels (Absolute Beginners, Early Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate and Advanced).

In each episode, Gordon and Cynthia have a conversation during which they discuss a specific topic.

The beginner series includes plenty of English explanations and Spanish translations, while later, more advanced series keep English to a minimum.

Starting with greetings in Spanish and the Spanish alphabet, the hosts will teach you about many diverse grammar, vocabulary and cultural topics, such as Spanish-language gender, question words, reflexive verbs, connecting words, Spanish commands, family values and the meaning of success.

Pro-tip: Practically every topic is available (for free) in video and downloadable audio format and includes written grammar explanations. Don’t miss them!

12. Hoy Hablamos

Spotify | website

spanish podcasts

Hoy Hablamos (Today We Talk) is a unique podcast series because of one simple fact: they upload a new episode every weekday (from Monday to Friday).

At 1,060 available episodes as of March 2021, Hoy Hablamos must have the most hard-working team of podcasters I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to (mind you, I’m a Spanish teacher and a Spaniard, so I’ve heard a fair share of Spanish audio in my life).

Don’t think the quality is compromised by quantity in this podcast. The host has an exquisite native pronunciation (European Spanish), and the quality of the audio is superb.

Each episode lasts between eight and 15 minutes on average and covers one topic.

From culture and traditions to people and vocabulary, if there’s a topic to talk about, Hoy Hablamos has probably already covered it in their podcasts.

In addition to the daily podcast, they have a grammar podcast (Hoy Hablamos de Gramática—aired for free every Wednesday) and a Premium podcast, available for premium subscribers only.

Pro-tip: If you want to have access to over 900 PDF files with transcriptions, exercises and grammar explanations, become a premium subscriber.

13. Charlas Hispanas

iTunes | Spotify | website

spanish podcasts

A project created by the Hoy Hablamos team, Charlas Hispanas (Hispanic Talks) is the Latin American version of the previous podcast.

The series has the same Monday-to-Friday schedule, high-quality audio and teaching-through-storytelling method, but this time, the hosts come from Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Argentina.

Charlas Hispanas is a much younger podcast, with “only” 303 published episodes so far.

They also offer a premium subscription with transcriptions, exercises and grammar explanations.

Pro-tip: Charlas Hispanas also has grammar-related episodes scattered among the others (they’re tagged as “Grammar”).

14. Doorway to Mexico

iTunes | Spotify | website

spanish podcasts

Aimed at intermediate and advanced students, this 44-episode podcast series divided into two seasons will get you from book-Mexican to street-Mexican 20 minutes at a time.

In each episode, you’ll listen to a dialogue and then Paulina, the teacher, will have a bilingual conversation with her students.

During the conversation, she’ll explain key vocabulary concepts, expressions and slang, among other helpful things.

They’ll also learn about Mexican culture and traditions, and how day-to-day activities and life take place.

Her students will ask her questions, often in English, to which she’ll mainly answer in Spanish.

By the end of the episode, both you and the respective student will have understood the dialogue and will be ready to use what you’ve learned.

Pro-tip: You can get tons of bonus material, such as study guides, transcripts and additional audio, for a one-time payment.

15. ESPAñOLISTOS

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

Andrea (a Colombian Spanish teacher) and Nate (an American fluent in Spanish) have created a podcast geared towards intermediate and advanced learners who want to practice their Latin American accent through fun and interesting topics.

Although Nate speaks Spanish fluently, he makes mistakes from time to time, which Andrea takes advantage of to correct him.

With 239 episodes (as of July 2021) of around 30 minutes each, ESPAñOLISTOS is an only-Spanish podcast that combines social and cultural commentary, travel and grammar in engaging conversations that’ll leave you wanting more.

They sometimes invite other Spanish-speaking guests (normally native) and interview them.

Pro-tip: You can get the transcripts of the episodes by making a $10 donation.

16. Radio Ambulante

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

Radio Ambulante is a superb podcast created with the mission of narrating Latin American stories that need to be heard.

With an emphasis on quality, Radio Ambulante gives a voice to people from all around Latin America, guests that tell the story of their life, art, struggles and dreams.

Even though this is a podcast created for native Spanish speakers, any upper-intermediate and advanced learner can benefit from all the different stories and accents included in the episodes.

Divided into 10 seasons, the podcast offers over 170 free episodes on topics as varied as getting celebrities’ autographs, looking for a multimillion inheritance, coming up with a solution for the energetic crisis or finding inner peace in the least expected place, just to name a few.

Pro-tip: If you want a more learner-friendly experience, try their amazing app Lupa

17. Tres Cuentos

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

Tres Cuentos (Three Stories/Tales) is a literary podcast “dedicated to Latin America’s narratives.”

Perfect for any kind of Spanish learner (the podcast is completely bilingual), each episode of Tres Cuentos revolves around a piece of Latin American literature that gets partly read and analyzed culturally and historically.

In an attempt to bring the most important masterpieces of Latin America closer to the people, many episodes include poems and fragments of the text that’s being talked about, followed by a commentary.

Carolina, the narrator and host of the podcast, invites other narrators to read the stories, and guests related to the world of literature help her make the commentary and analysis that follows the reading part, which very often includes a biography of the author.

Each episode is published in both Spanish and English separately, so learners can either go for the Spanish version right away or listen to the English episode first and then work with the Spanish one.

Pro-tip: All the complete transcripts in both Spanish and English can be found on the website for free. Just click on an episode and you’ll be able to listen and read at the same time.

18. En Defensa Propia

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

En Defensa Propia (In Self-defense) is a podcast in which women are the ones to be heard.

Erika de la Vega, from Venezuela, presents a podcast in which she talks with her female guests about any kind of topic that has anything to do with being a woman, from learning how to not be overprotective and changing to become a better woman to learning from your own mistakes and practicing self-forgiveness.

I’d describe this podcast as a psychological and cultural window to the heart and soul of women, especially Latin American women, who want to grow, evolve and reinvent themselves.

If you’re an advanced learner of Spanish who wants to listen to women talking to and empowering other women in the Venezuelan accent, you’re going to enjoy this one.

Pro-tip: You can watch the videos of the podcast episodes on Erika’s YouTube channel.

19. No Hay Tos

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

No hay tos (lit. “there’s no cough”) is a common Mexican expression that means “Don’t worry about it” or “No problem.”

Roberto and Héctor, the hosts, have been friends since they were teens.

In their podcast, they tell stories about their past and present, where they are, what they do and what’s going on in Mexico, among other interesting stuff.

Both Spanish and English teachers, they created this podcast to help learners of Spanish learn and improve their Mexican accent, slang words included!

It’s amazing (and I’m saying this as a fellow language teacher) how seamlessly they go from story to casual-and-on-point grammar explanation to story back again.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced Spanish student, you’ll enjoy this one.

Pro-tip: You can become their Patron to get the transcriptions of their podcast, among many other goodies.

20. Español con Juan (1001 Reasons to Learn Spanish)

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

Español con Juan (Spanish with Juan) is “a podcast in Spanish to learn Spanish.”

Juan is a super fun man who engages in his storytelling so deeply that he even imitates the voices of other people, including a child with a lisp!

If you’re an intermediate or advanced learner of Spanish who wants to perfect their Castilian accent with awesome stories, funny personal anecdotes, cultural and historical explanations and comments on everyday topics, you need to start listening to Español con Juan.

A language teacher, Juan has an obvious passion for teaching and telling stories. His explanations are hilarious, and his masterful way of using grammar and vocabulary to deliver a story in its best way possible is incredible.

I like this podcast so much that even I, a native Spanish speaker, listen to him regularly.

I love learning about the history of my own country, getting to know his opinions on topics such as religion or Mafalda and listening to his explanations of Spanish idioms and set phrases.

Pro-tip: You’ll find the free transcripts of all the episodes on his website. Just click on an episode and then on “Haz click aquí para leer la TRANSCRIPCIÓN” (Click here to read the transcription).

21. El oso latino habla español

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify

If there’s a complaint you’ll often read about El oso latino habla español (The Latino bear speaks Spanish) it’s “there aren’t enough episodes of this amazing podcast.”

And I agree.

This entertaining podcast is a great way for intermediate and advanced students to improve their Spanish language skills with interviews, music, grammar explanations, jokes, skits and cultural tidbits, among other interesting stuff.

The hosts bring guests from different Spanish-speaking countries to talk about their jobs (which are often related to teaching Spanish), YouTube channels, podcasts, the music of their country, and more.

The interviews include songs from the guest’s country and, very often, they talk about words that are different across accents (like birrachela and cerveza — beer).

Some episodes include vocabulary sections on topics such as health, shopping, travel and Christmas, just to name a few.

Pro-tip: Make sure you read every episode’s description, which includes links to everything and everyone included in the podcast, from the guest’s website to the songs that have been played. Some episodes even include a study guide.

22. 15 Minute Spanish for Your Job

spanish podcasts

iTunes | website

If you’re a beginner learner of Spanish who has some basic knowledge of the language and wants to take it to the next level, this podcast is perfect for you.

Geared at beginners who have to deal with Spanish in their jobs, each episode introduces a topic and delves into its grammar and vocabulary with the help of conversations that get analyzed and translated.

The presenter goes over each sentence and gives the necessary explanations so that learners understand not only what’s being said, but also the grammar behind it.

The episodes include many words and expressions related to the topic being discussed. The aim is for the learners to imagine themselves in the situations presented in the conversations so that when they’re confronted with something similar in real life, they’re ready for it.

The podcast includes conversations between a nurse and a patient, a teacher and a student, a customer service representative and a client, a construction worker and a project manager, among others.

There are also episodes on rock music, the Day of the Dead, coffee, Steve Jobs and much more. 

Pro-tip: Check each episode on the website, where you’ll find free transcripts, YouTube videos, vocabulary lists and a whole lot more freebies.

23. El gran apagón

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

Picture this:

It’s April 11, 2018.

There’s a huge solar storm that destroys our satellites. Nothing electric or electronic works on Earth, including the internet, phones and TV.

Within days, riots start to take place. Water and food supplies diminish, people need to fight to survive. There’s chaos everywhere.

Some citizens suspect the authorities knew this was going to happen but did nothing to prevent it. They believe there’s evidence of this, and one man decides to prove it.

El gran apagón (The great/big blackout) is an amazingly entertaining podcast catered to native Spanish speakers that tells a story you can’t miss if you’re an advanced learner.

The narration is superb, the production is top-notch, and the story itself is nail-biting, to say the least.

I won’t tell you anything else. You need to listen to this masterpiece—all three seasons of it. 

Pro-tip: You can download all the episodes for free and listen to them offline!

24. Cosas de internet

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

Let me start by saying this is one of my personal favorite podcasts in the whole cyberworld.

The fact that the hosts can laugh at themselves to the point of stating that “the conversations are edited so we sound more intelligent than we really are” is reason enough for me to love a podcast, but this one really deserves praise.

If you’re a techie and your level of Spanish is upper-intermediate or advanced, Cosas de internet (Internet things) is a podcast you can’t miss.

Completely in Spanish and geared towards native Spanish speakers with a love for technology and an unquenching curiosity, each episode of this podcast has Santiago and Laura (the hosts) talk about a topic related to the internet and technology.

From the radio and its creator to Wikipedia, this podcast is full of ones and zeros, QWERTY keyboards, Dungeons & Dragons and many other interesting topics.

The episode on Artificial Intelligence and how it helped to solve protein folding is exquisite.

Pro-tip: Check out the episodes on the website to get a list of links where you can read more about the different topics covered in the podcast.

25. El verdadero robo del siglo

spanish podcasts

iTunes | Spotify | website

On January 13, 2006, Banco Río in Acassuso, Buenos Aires (Argentina) gets robbed.

The robbers are in the bank with 23 hostages, surrounded by 300 policemen. When special forces come inside, the robbers are nowhere to be seen. They’ve escaped with over $19 million and 175 pounds of jewelry. 

The heist would be called “the robbery of the century” by many, and hundreds of stories have been told about it (there’s even a movie!).

El verdadero robo del siglo (The real robbery of the century) tells the story of what really happened that day, narrated by the people who were actually there—policemen, hostages, investigators and robbers included.

If you like action movies with robberies, prosecutions, investigations and trials, there’s a big chance you’ll enjoy this podcast.

You’ll have to be an advanced learner of Spanish to really understand what’s going on, though.

Pro-tip: This YouTube playlist includes the whole podcast with subtitles in Spanish. Check it out!

26. Obsesión por el Cielo

spanish podcasts

iTunes | website

With over 550 episodes (although iTunes only includes 50 of them), this massive weekly podcast is one of the best ways to learn about astronomy and space in Spanish.

Each week, the hosts pick two or three pieces of news related to astronomy and talk to the audience about them.

Outer space is full of mysteries, and the more we explore it, the more we get to know about it. Obsesión por el cielo (Obsession for the sky) tries to bring those mysteries closer to us and explain them in a way that every listener is able to understand.

For this reason, even intermediate students will be able to understand quite a lot of Spanish if they give this podcast a listen.

Pro-tip: Each episode includes a list of links for those interested in learning more about the different topics covered that week.

How to Learn Spanish by Listening to Podcasts: 5 Tips

Ready to milk your podcasts for all they’re worth? Here are our favorite tips for learning Spanish with podcasts.

1. Use a Variety of Podcasts

There are different types of Spanish podcasts, but we can divide them all into two big groups: Podcasts created for Spanish learners and podcasts created for native speakers.

Whatever your level of Spanish is, always try to listen to at least one podcast from each of these two groups.

The one created to teach you Spanish will give you practical information you can use to improve your major language skills, while the one created for native speakers will provide that immersive component you need to really reach fluency.

For example, a great combination of podcasts would be podcasts #2 (FluentU) and #14 (Charlas Hispanas).

2. Treat Your Spanish Podcasts Like Lectures

We often use podcasts as background noise or while doing other activities.

While this is something useful to improve your level of Spanish, this passive way of listening takes much more time to give you great results.

The solution is as simple as transforming a passive activity into an active one.

And how do you listen to a Spanish podcast actively? Pretend you’re in class!

When listening to a podcast, take notes, write down words you don’t understand and look them up, check the grammar behind that weird construction you don’t know, etc.

Pretend the podcast is a lecture, and try to take as many notes as possible.

Don’t pause the audio. Not just yet! 

First, listen to the episode once without pauses while you take notes. Then, check your books and dictionaries until everything you’ve written is clear.

Next, listen to the audio a second time while reading the transcript (if possible). There will be words and phrases you didn’t get during your first listen, so write them down now and check their meaning.

After you’ve worked all the vocabulary and grammar of the transcript, listen to the episode a final time paying special attention to the pronunciation (I’ll talk about it in the next tip).

As you can guess, active listening takes much longer than passive listening. For this reason, it’s important that you choose podcasts that have short episodes (around five to 10 minutes).

This way, you can work on a whole episode during one listening session (which should take you about one hour).

3. Practice Spanish Shadowing

Shadowing is a very efficient activity to learn languages. It consists of listening to native audio and repeating it while trying to be as faithful to the original pronunciation as possible.

Think of it as a parrot game.

Take any episode you’ve used during your active-listening sessions and listen to it, pausing every couple of sentences.

Try to imitate the native Spanish speaker. Many times. Listen to the same fragment for as long as you need until you think you got it perfectly.

Little by little, shadow the whole episode.

Once you’re done, record yourself shadowing the whole audio clip (or its most challenging fragments) and check if you need more practice or not.

4. Play Spanish Verb Guessing

I created this game for my younger students to help them practice Spanish conjugation.

Pick a difficult podcast. It can be a podcast above your level or one on a topic you don’t know much about.

Listen to an episode just once and write down five verb forms you hear while you listen.

After the audio ends, write the full conjugational information about each verb form you have.

For example:

cantábamos — first person plural of the imperfect tense of the verb cantar (to sing)

You can even do it in Spanish if you feel brave enough:

cantábamos primera persona del plural del pretérito imperfecto del verbo cantar

If you get bored of practicing conjugation, you can try to play noun or adjective guessing.

The rules are very similar, but this time you have to write down five words you think are nouns or adjectives and try to guess their meaning.

Even if you know the word already, try to not just give its meaning in your language. Explain, in Spanish, what the word means.

For example:

lavadora  es una máquina que se usa para lavar la ropa
(washing machine — it’s a machine that’s used for washing clothes)

You can do this with any kind of word you want. It’s an interesting guessing exercise that will allow you to get bits of info from what you’re listening to even if you don’t understand what’s being said as a whole.

5. Try Storytelling

Another way you can use podcasts to improve your Spanish is to try storytelling.

Just listen to a podcast episode and tell someone what you’ve learned from it (in Spanish, of course!).

If you don’t have anyone to tell, write it down or talk to yourself.

The most important part of this exercise is that you’ll be producing Spanish after you listen to it. This will help you improve different language skills at the same time, allowing you to reach fluency faster.

 

And there you have it—26 Spanish podcasts plus learning tips that’ll have you well on your way to fluency.

So what are you waiting for?

Choose your new favorite podcast and start listening!


Francisco J. Vare loves teaching and writing about grammar. He’s a proud language nerd, and you’ll normally find him learning languages, teaching students or reading. He’s been writing for FluentU for many years and is one of their staff writers.

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