Free Spanish podcasts for beginners

A girl in headphones listening to Spanish podcasts from the mobile phone
Free Spanish podcasts for beginners

It can be too overwhelming to find a good podcast that suits your taste with so many free Spanish podcasts for beginners that are currently on the market. Are you looking for a Spanish podcast with a European Spanish accent or Latin American? Do you prefer 3 min podcasts or longer podcasts of up to 20 minutes? Do you like the podcast in the form of real-life situation dialog, or do you prefer the host teaching you different vocabulary and grammar? There are so many different options.

The objective of this article was to provide a summary of 5 free Spanish podcasts for beginners. And give a full description that will help you to choose the right podcast for you. You will also find a couple of useful tips to improve listening comprehension from Spanish podcasts.

Why listening to podcasts is essential?

Listening, in general, is an essential habit in a language learning process. However, not everyone has an opportunity to practice listening with native speakers. Podcasts can help you to improve your listening comprehension and speaking skills.

It is great to work hard on improving your reading, your Spanish grammar, or practicing your pronunciation. But once you achieve a great result, imagine your disappointment if you start speaking with a native speaker and not understand a fraction of what he is saying.

The reason for this is that a foreign speech is a series of sound units connected and quickly pronounced by a native speaker, which is difficult to understand for an untrained ear.

And the only way to train your ears is by lots of exposure. You need to listen until you start understanding the foreign speech without focusing your mind on each pronounced word.

When you can listen to podcasts

It’s not difficult to find 20 minutes a day for the listening practice without interrupting daily routine. Here are some examples when you can listen to podcasts:

A man taking a selfie while listening to Spanish podcasts for beginners
  • While you commute to work or school
  • While you walk a dog
  • In a plane
  • In the Gym
  • While walking or running,
  • While cooking etc.

It’s possible to find 20 min a day for this activity.

3 Tips to maximize learning from Spanish podcasts

Choose the podcast that you already can mostly understand.

Many people start learning language by jump into watching movies or videos in Spanish language. But trying to understand the native level materials that you are not ready for yet will only slow the process.

You need to choose the audio that is slightly above your comprehension level. If you understand 60%-80% of the podcast, it will still be an excellent tool for you to learn from.

It is vital when you choose a podcast because if you listen to things that you mostly don’t understand, you will become frustrated and confused. If the materials are too far above your level, it will only slow the progress, instead of supporting it.

Take notes
An image of a female hand making notes in the notebook while listening to Spanish podcasts
Tips to maximize learning from Spanish podcasts

Listening, as well as reading, is considered to be a passive learning. It greatly helps to retain the existing vocabulary and train your ears for listening comprehension. However, you can do a bit of more active learning, to increase fluency in Spanish.

Learning happens best when you are engaged in what you are doing and when you take action to process the information. If learning is just passive, you will absorb less information and even run a risk of forgetting what you learned.

One of the best ways to turn passive listening to active learning is to take notes. You can take a notebook while you are listening and if there’s a new word or phrase that you didn’t know before, write it down so that you can practice it in your conversations.

If you are listening while driving or walking – you can read a transcript of the podcast when you get home. You can also write down and learn the phrases that you didn’t know before.

Focus on the whole picture and not on the small details

The same as reading books, even if you don’t understand a word or two in the podcast, the words that you already know will help you to understand the meaning.

So don’t give up if you don’t understand some words. Just keep listening, and focus on the whole picture so that any missing information will fill by itself.

5 Free Spanish podcasts for beginners.

Coffee Break Spanish

Hosts: Experienced language teacher Mark and his student Kara.

Accent:  Both hosts are Scottish, but they have good European Spanish accents. 

Languages in the podcast: Spanish and English 

How many podcasts: 80 podcasts aimed for beginners and intermediate learners. 

How long is each podcast: 17-22 minutes

What are the podcasts about: every podcast contains different topics connected to real-life situations. 

Transcripts: Yes, but you need to pay for them

Podcast significance: It sounds real. Many of the podcasts are recorded as an interview with native speakers on the streets of Spain. 

In the beginning, Mark introduces the topic of the podcast in Spanish and English languages.  

That gives listeners an excellent opportunity to hear different accents and train listening comprehension in real-life situations. There is even a street noise in the background. 

After the dialogue, Mark explains the meaning of separate phrases that they used in the conversation. 

Sometimes there are several conversations with different people in the same podcast. 

Audiria

Hosts: Two brothers from Malaga founded this website. Two other members of the same family are also participating in this project 

Accent: European Spanish

Languages in the podcast: only Spanish 

Transcripts: Yes

How many podcasts: More than 800, they upload podcasts every day 

How long is each podcast: 3-5 minutes

What are the podcasts about: The topic covers a large variety of real-life situations. 

Podcast significance: It contains a massive database of podcasts explaining Spanish grammar and vocabulary, and dialogue podcasts. 

Frankly, I get a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of data on this website, but it is an excellent source for free Spanish podcasts for beginners

Language Treks

Hosts: Johnny English and Christina

Accent: Latino American

Languages in the podcast: Spanish and English 

How many podcasts do they have: 36 podcasts

How long is each podcast: From 10 to 15 minutes

What are the podcasts about:  The hosts introduce grammar concepts along with vocabulary in specific themes to make it easier to remember. 

Podcast significance: The podcasts are not built on real-lie situation dialogues. However, the hosts teach the conversational basics by explaining the use of different words and phrases in a quite enjoyable and playful way. It was designed originally for school students, so this podcast is excellent for you if you are starting to learn Spanish from scratch. 

Notes in Spanish

Who is podcasting: Marina from Madrid and her partner Ben from England

Accent: European Spanish

Languages in the podcast: Spanish and English 

Transcripts: Yes, but not for free

How many podcasts do they have: 30 Spanish podcasts for beginners

How long is each podcast: 15-20 min

What are the podcasts about:  The podcasts cover various topics, on the beginner level you can listen about their upcoming trip to Thailand and learn the use of future tense in Spanish. In other podcasts, Marina and Ben talk about the cities they live in or describe members of their families. Some topics also cover Spanish culture. 

Podcasts significants: One part of the podcasts flows as a dialog, and the other part is a conversation between Marina and Ben in English, explaining vocabulary and grammar. At the beginner level you might hear more English than Spanish, but moving further to intermediate and advanced levels there will be more Spanish than English. 

If you know a little bit of Spanish, you can start from an intermediate level of this podcast. 

Lightspeed Spanish

Who is podcasting: Gordon from England and Cynthia from Madrid

Accent: European Spanish  

Languages in the podcast: Spanish and English 

How many podcasts do they have:  36 Spanish podcasts for beginners

Transcripts: Yes

How long is each podcast: 15-20 min

What are the podcasts about: In the beginning, the hosts are teaching you which greeting to use at what time, the alphabet, conjugations, and other basics that beginners in Spanish usually want to learn. 

Podcast significance: 

They don’t base their conversation on staged dialogues. For example, they don’t play situations which could have happened in an airport or a taxi. It’s more like a discussion of some topics between two hosts.  

In the beginning, hosts are talking in English most of the podcasts, and explain the vocabulary, grammar, and the use of particular phrases. While you are moving with the podcast, they are changing to the Spanish language only. Some lessons even include videos. 

Gordon and Cynthia are both teachers. They are helping students for more than ten years. And now they are using their experience about teaching a language in their podcast episodes. 

Free Spanish podcasts for intermediate level

There is plenty of other great podcasts, but in my opinion, you need to build up some knowledge of Spanish before you can start understanding the content. It needs to be a more solid Spanish foundation than just knowing words about the kitchen or the family members.
Among this podcasts you will be able to enjoy :

Duolingo Podcast

Duolingo, by far, is the most popular language-learning app on the market.
All of the Duolingo podcasts are narrated real-life stories of everyday people from Central and South America.
It’s a mix of English and Spanish. In some parts of the podcast, the narrator speaks English, which helps to summarize each chunk of Spanish while the story progresses.
Every story is being told in the past tense, and it is vital to have an idea of the conjugations and usages of the past tense.

News in Slow Spanish

These podcasts feature discussions of current news in a slow and straightforward Spanish. Once you learn some basic Spanish, it is a great tool to improve your listening comprehension. You can choose
Latin American Spanish accent version or European Spanish accent.

I hope this review helps you to understand better what you will find in each of these famous podcasts and helps you to save some time.
Next time you are commuting to work, put on one of these great Spanish podcasts, and enjoy the Spanish learning in a fun way!