I believe that for students to successfully be able to speak the language they need to hear it frequently. The definition of frequently is more often than possible in a normal school schedule. So, I need to find something to grab the students intrest so they will listen outside of the classroom.
- Creating my own podcasts. I have used PodBean and I noticed that Moodle now offers Podcast as an activity. However, I do not like the sound of my voice recorded – so this is only going to be used when I have a specific goal I want the student to accomplish. In general, I just want them listening to authentic Spanish outside the classroom.
- There are many free Podcasts on the internet that use Spanish. I like the ones found at Radio Lingua. They are short and to the point. I like the fact that they use phrases instead of individual words. It should help the students get the flow of the language better.
- Radio Locator allows the user to search for radio stations around the world. The site shows which radio stations stream their music live. A downside – I found many of the links are not active, so it was frustrating.
- Pandora is the best site for free, streaming music. They do have some pre-created Latino Stations.
- Universed takes feeds about Spanish and in Spanish and puts them all in one location. This will be a useful resource for me to check. I can direct the students to specific new items that I see on the site. The site is run by Newcastle University in an effort to promote language learning. There are many other lanugages besides Spanish.
- My older students can listen to short news briefs totally in Spanish through EuroNews. I think it would be too frustrating for a new Spanish student because they are talking at a normal rate for a Spanish speaker – which is much faster than a Spanish learner.
- EsAudio has a listening section with self guided exercises. The native speakers are speaking slowly enough that students would be able to follow. The quality of the recordings varies. About half the site is free, the other protions are labeled ‘premium’ and you have to pay for them.
- iTunes has many free podcasts that students can subscribe to. They have to search under AudioPodcasts -> Language Courses. An example is Voices en Espanol, which frequently interviews native speakers on the show. This is a more advanced podcast, which is a refreshing alternative to hearing ‘hola me llamo …’ repeated over and over. The topics of the interview are unique/interesting and frequently related to current events. I can use some of these for an enrichment activity.