Recently, at the recommendation of my Spanish professor, I’ve been listening to RadioLingua’s “Show Time Spanish” podcast. The podcast–as the name suggests–is primarily conducted en español; perfect for honing my listening skills as a Spanish minor.
I’ve tried many times to find interesting, accessible resources to help practice my Spanish. After all, reading and writing are important, but listening and speaking are what make you conversationally fluent in a foreign language.
The usual suggestions (e.g. Netflix shows in Spanish, telenovelas, Spanish news, etc.) proved difficult to get into. While the subject matter is great, the pacing of the language itself is demasiado rápido para mi–it just comes more quickly than I’m able to process at the this point.
Show Time Spanish is fabulous for just this reason. It’s run by a guy from Scotland whose self-proclaimed passion is languages. Because he’s been through the learning process so frequently, he does a wonderful job of breaking things down into their constituent parts, enunciating tricky wordings and keeping things slow enough to remain intelligible but quick enough to be engaging.
The podcast focuses on three aspects of the language: listening, “native” phrases, and new vocab and grammar concepts.
We always open with an extended conversation between the host and a guest, entirely in Spanish. This provides an opportunity to become accustomed to the cadence and accents of the Spanish language and pick up on new words via contextual inference.
“Native” phrases are just that–ways to rephrase typical Spanish answers and phrases so that they don’t feel quite so much like you’ve transplanted them straight from an American classroom.
Finally, we always end by recapping any new words and usages that came up during the opening conversation to reinforce key concepts in the Spanish language.
I’d highly recommend giving a listen to anybody who’s interested in polishing their existing Spanish or picking up some new skills.