TV and radio programmes can be a great addition to your studies if you’re learning Spanish. Not only are they short blasts of music, news, or information that you can fit into your schedule, but they are up to date and interesting. There is little more off-putting than an outdated textbook from decades past, after all! So what should you be looking out for? Here are some suggestions for radio and TV programmes to help you practice Spanish.
Extra is a series specifically made with Spanish learners in mind. It is essentially the same format as Friends so you should know approximately what to expect; situational comedy following the lives of a group of friends. Even the music is familiar! The Spanish used in Extra is spoken quite slowly so even beginners stand a good chance of understanding. If you view on Youtube you are like to get a range of subtitles to help you as you listen.
Each episode is less than thirty minutes so they should slot into any schedule. There are only thirteen episodes in total, but by the time you have finished them, you should have much more confidence to watch other Spanish programming. To give you a taste of what Extras is like try this clip from the very first episode. Happy watching!
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Cadena SER is a popular radio station in Spain so you will be tuning in with millions of other listeners. Though their understanding of what’s being said might be a little more native than yours! It is the perfect radio station if you are interested in sport since Cadena SER has a large focus on La Liga and UEFA football. Cadena SER also covers all the usual programming you would expect from a radio station, so there will be up to date news, opinion pieces, and music in between. This is a great station to listen to if your plan is to get used to the way Spanish sounds as you learn.
Like so many radio stations Cadena SER has its own website, meaning you can pick up even more news. The recent fire at Notre Dame, for example, is covered with videos, photos, and commentary, so you have a wealth of sources at your fingertips. There are hundreds of stories on the website that are constantly updating; you will be spoilt for choice!
Isabel is a TV series based on the reign of Queen Isabella I of Castile, so if historical dramas are your thing this is one for you. The Spanish used isn’t quite as period as you might expect from some similar shows but be aware that there will be some language that is different. Isabel is beautifully shot so you might get lost in the visuals if you don’t concentrate! It is best to watch the show with subtitles if you’re just watching for exposure to Spanish; more advanced learners will enjoy Isabel without.
Isabel has three seasons which means thirty-nine episodes for you to immerse yourself in. Each episode is just over an hour so beware of that if you are scheduling time to watch as a lesson. Here is a clip of the show from the very first episode to get you started. Are you hooked already? Isabel is a great show to binge-watch!
Radio Mitre is an Argentinian radio station that is predominantly a news network reporting in thirty-minute blocks. Be aware that this 24-hour station is entirely news; there isn’t a song to break up whatever news stories are currently being discussed. But if you are a learner who wants to have Spanish on in the background or you want to stretch your understanding, Radio Mitre is ideal. The presenters are clear and easy to understand, and even if the subjects being discussed are difficult, we are confident you will enjoy listening.
If listening to Radio Mitre instills you with confidence in your Spanish, then they also provide news articles on their website for you to read. Try this one on inflation in Argentina to give you a taste of the style of language used. Why not give it a go?
Radio and TV can make your Spanish learning experience a fun one. What are you going to listen to or watch first?