Learning Spanish with Free Audio Lessons: The Lay of the Land

Today we have the pleasure of welcoming a guest contribution by Eleena de Lisser, who runs Voices en Español, a bilingual blog and conversational Spanish podcast (iTunesRSS Feed). In this post, Eleena draws on her experience and offers an overview of the best free audio lessons that will teach you Spanish (which happens to be the number one second language studied in the United States). Other Spanish lessons can be found in our larger collection How to Learn Languages for Free: Spanish, English, Chinese & 37 Other Languages. Many thanks Eleena, and take it away…

Learning Spanish today is as easy as sitting in front of your computer and downloading online audio to your MP3 player. If you’re motivated, you can learn a great deal of Spanish at little to no cost without ever leaving the comfort of home. A tremendous range of instructional Spanish language podcasts, from the beginner level to advanced, are widely available on the internet and many of them are free. (Some charge for accompanying transcripts and written practice exercises.)  So whether you are a raw beginner or a seasoned language study veteran, there is a podcast out there to suit you. Here are the details on a handful of educational Spanish language podcasts that are worth a closer look:

Coffee Break Spanish (iTunesFeedWeb Site), whose slogan is “language learning with your latte,” is undoubtedly king of the instructional podcast hill, with a large and loyal fanbase. It is ideally suited for beginners and other students seeking a review of basic Spanish grammar and phrases. Mark Pentleton, the producer and instructor, and Kara, his student, are Scottish, so while you won’t be hearing a native Spanish speaker’s pronunciation in the initial episodes, that seems to add to the charm of the program for some listeners.

Another popular instructional series is Notes in Spanish (iTunesFeedWeb Site), produced by Ben Curtis and Marina Diez, a husband-and-wife team out of Madrid, Spain. Ben is British and Marina is Spanish, and they too have built quite a large following for their conversational Spanish podcasts (for beginners, intermediates and advanced students), which promise to teach listeners “real Spanish” the way it is actually spoken every day in Spain.

LingusTV (iTunesFeedWeb Site) is a unique entry into the instructional language podcasts arena. It’s an educational video podcast done in the form of a television sit-com (situation comedy), laugh track included. While the actors speak solely in Spanish, subtitles are provided and explanations of vocabulary and grammar points are provided on the web site.

SpanishPod101 (iTunesFeedWeb Site) distinguishes itself from other currently available instructional podcasts by providing lessons that feature different accents from around the Spanish-speaking world. Dialogues are repeated multiple times and an English translation is provided, to further aid learning.

For advanced language students seeking a change of pace and a break from grammar drills, there are my two podcasts: Voices en Español (iTunesFeedWeb Site), which contains interviews and literature readings with native Spanish speakers from all walks of life, and Cody’s Cuentos (iTunesFeedWeb Site), a Spanish-language podcast of classic fairy tales and legends. While Cody’s Cuentos isn’t a conventional instructional podcast, the fact that you probably already know the story in English will aid your comprehension of understanding the tale in Spanish. Transcripts for the stories are available on the Cody’s Cuentos blog so that you can read and follow along in the text while listening to the audio.

This is just a small sample of the kind of  Spanish language programming currently available online. Several more Spanish learning podcasts are listed here in our collection of Free Language Lessons.

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Comments (10)
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  • Alexis says:

    I have tried most of these and absolutely love spanishpod and rojas spanish. Spanishpod is engaging, hilarious, and makes teaches material that is relevant to young adults. Rojas Spanish is great because of its production quality and content, but, definitely not for beginners.

  • Toffler says:

    I like the recommendations for podcasts. They definitely have their place, but its also necessary to practice your skills to check your pronunciation and acquisition of the language and to develop confidence in speaking. The best way to do that is with a language partner, and the internet offers increasingly many sites for finding language partners and practicing with them online. My favorite is http://www.italki.com, which has native Spanish speakers from a variety of countries, allowing me to hear different accents and learn slang from those countries. (Today I was chatting with a guy from Peru and another from Colombia :) ) I prefer the interactive approach to language learning, but podcasts are a good place to start.

  • faith says:

    i grateful we have are making earth like heaven were we have no limitation in self learning.thanks

  • Anna says:

    Hi there, I see all of the itunes feeds for spanish lessons but are there any on this site in mp3 format so I can download to my laptop/MP3 player? Thx

  • Philipfcooper says:

    Definitely should add Luis Rojas’ podcasts… free download and don’t even need an itunes account.  Just go to rojasspanish.com  The podcasts from the start are well worth listening to.  Intermediate level – high school Spanish 3 and up.

  • Philipfcooper says:

    make that http://www.lacasarojas.com/podcast/   for Luis Rojas’ podcasts.

  • Sovann Koth says:

    i’m interested in Spanish language

  • brad says:

    i want to learn spanish

  • Dalton says:

    Thanks for the info. Ill see if I can save this pod cast and add it in my phone. That way when im driving I can play your spanish discussions in the car and learn on my way to school or work

  • Denis says:

    What about the popular Rocket Spanish. I like it because first it goes step by step and second you can check your pronunciation within the program and third you can download the audio trainings to listen on the go. Here is the page http://dess.me/RktSp

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