7 Spanish Podcasts and Songwriters for Creative Kids in Elementary
Spanish podcasts are a great way to complement your child’s learning process. Today, I’m here to help you explore the best podcasts. Learn what to consider before incorporating these fun-filled audio adventures into your child’s life.
But first—are Spanish podcasts good enough to stand on their own? Or do you need more complementary material in order to give your kids the best educational experience possible?
3 Learning Styles That Lead to Fluency
Before storing information into what can be likened to our brain’s “hard drive,” we need first-hand experience of it through our senses—namely, visual, auditory, or kinesthetic—for our short-term and working memory to process and store it. From this point, the information gains access to our long-term memory after practicing it multiple times in meaningful ways.
So, what are your options for first-hand sensory experiences that teach Spanish fluency?
Reading is predominantly visual learning and one of the most common exercises everyone does when learning a language. It’s especially important for travelers who will benefit greatly from reading signs and restaurant menus. Reading enables students to learn without the presence of a teacher, so they can dedicate time to learning Spanish on their own.
Writing adds kinesthetic elements by making use of fine motor skills. Muscle memory created through writing can be a huge help when learning a language. It will certainly help you get better at reading since you’ll be writing each letter while doing it.
3. Speaking and Listening
While learning how to read and write in a new language is important, the key aspects of learning a language are speaking and listening. After all, the main function of language is to communicate. Speaking and listening focus on the auditory aspect of learning, which is the fastest way to achieve fluency.
Think about your mother tongue. You spoke it long before you could read or write. Language is commonly rooted in auditory perception, and thus, it’s easier for us to grasp it through this method. Some of us benefit greatly from different learning methods. How do you know which one suits your child best?
Which Style Is Best for Your Child?
You may have heard people say they are visual learners rather than auditory learners or vice versa. How can you tell which one comes easiest to your child?
To get a definitive answer to that question, you will benefit from asking a professional near you to assess your child’s skills and personal learning preferences. There are, however, a couple of general criteria that can help you understand your child’s learning style. Keep in mind that there’s no way to make a 100% accurate list of behaviors and meanings since we all use the same behaviors to do different things. The method I suggest is to observe your child carefully and notice which teaching methods and games they prefer, and which ones help them memorize better. Here are some clues to help you guide your teaching methods:
- If they understand concepts better when you show them flashcards, they are using a visual method of learning.
- They easily associate images with words.
- They love learning though videos.
- Closing their eyes when doing a task.
- Reading out loud.
- They love to learn through songs
- If they drag their fingers across the page when reading, they might prefer kinesthetic methods of learning.
- Counting with their fingers.
- They prefer physical tasks such as legos or playdoh.
The key question to ask in your quest to understand your child’s learning style is:
What behaviors does my child have when faced with a difficult task? This will give you some insight into what is going through their brains as they learn new things. By looking for the answer to this question, you’ll be a step closer to helping your child learn better!
Shifting Focus to Auditory Learning with Spanish Podcasts
Spanish podcasts are aimed at kids of varying skill levels, so you can expect to find a little something for everyone. By knowing your child’s predominant learning style, you canorient their learning to help them where they struggle and reinforce weak spots in understanding or speech production.
The following Spanish podcasts focus on common vocabulary, expressions, and relatable stories, allowing you to choose which you consider is best for your child.
Active Listening Techniques
Active listening is the act of observation through hearing. It’s more than just perceiving sound, it’s giving your full attention to what you choose to listen to. Active listening is an important skill for everyone. It’s used in business to know what the client wants, and it’s used in school to better understand what teachers are saying. The sooner you begin to practice this skill, the easier it will be to listen later in life. Before we get to our list, let’s review some useful tips to promote active listening and optimize the learning environment:
- Sit in a room with little distractions, preferably without screens around.
- The room must be well lit and ventilated.
- Let your kid choose whether to sit or stand, but lying down is not recommended.
- Using headphones or earbuds for long periods of time is ill-advised.
- Take periodic breaks to review the content.
- Pause and rewind the audio clips if necessary.
7 Spanish Podcasts for Creative Kids in Elementary School
Now that you know different ways we can learn new things, it’s time to check out some resources that will help you out practice skills such as Spanish and active listening! Here are, in no particular order, seven Spanish podcasts for creative kids in elementary school.
1. Beth Manners (Beginner)
Beth Manners’ Spanish podcasts are perfect for beginners. She offers multiple albums for both Spanish and French learners that invite listeners to follow along attentively and repeat new words and phrases along with her and other children. Similar to Dora the Explorer, Beth Manners’ Spanish podcast has many tracks that explore topics like meals, the alphabet, and days of the week in Spanish as well as more complex topics like world history and cultural dances. With a joyful voice and her helpful child entourage, Manners prompts your child to repeat new words and expressions while using a blend of English and Spanish to ease your listener into the language.
2. Baby Radio (Beginner)
Baby Radio’s Spanish podcast has a huge selection of authentic Spanish games, topics, and subjects to choose from. Their audio clips are short, which means these are great ways to have a break from regular study sessions or fun two-minute bedtime stories to get in that extra practice. The topics they offer range from short stories, music games, entertainment, fun facts, and education, just to name a few.
Sara Jordan (Beginner)
Sara Jordan has several English-Spanish albums that are ideal for beginner Spanish learners. These songs are for kids but they do have some real gems in there if you ask me! Their lyrics seem to follow the same format: an English verse followed by a Spanish translation. This ensures that your child doesn’t miss a beat while learning about the alphabet, cardinal and ordinal numbers, and how to mind your manners.
Eat Your Spanish (Beginner)
Eat Your Spanish is probably my favorite Spanish Podcast in this list. Created by Evan and Vanessa, the Eat Your Spanish podcast targets kids and families alike. Evan is a professional musician and Vanessa is a certified Montessori educator who came together to create this awesome series of audio clips and videos for you to enjoy. This podcast includes beginner Spanish audio clips that usually talk about food, and occasionally about things like the sun or the weather. They also have some catchy tunes for kids on their website.
Allegro Mágico (Intermediate)
Allegro Mágico is an excellent option if you want to add a cultural twist to your learning experience. Their series Viajando por el Mundo has information about countries all over the world that are presented in a simple, easy-to-understand format. If you’re like me and love to listen to new and exciting music from distant parts of the world while learning about different cultures, then this podcast is for you (and your kids!)
Los Niños y Jimeno (Intermediate)
Los Niños y Jimeno is a Spanish podcast that interviews kids on their opinions and thoughts about the world around them. This podcast gives your child a chance to sharpen their Spanish listening skills while listening to toddlers speak their mind. If you happened to have recently moved to a Spanish-speaking country, this Spanish podcast is a great complement to helping your child adapt more easily and learn the language faster. The audio clips are short too, which is great for the limited attention span most kids have. It’s important to note that this podcast will be the most effective if your child already speaks a little bit of Spanish, since it has no English in it at all.
Sesame en las Comunidades (Intermediate)
When it comes to teaching reading and writing, it doesn’t get better than Sesame Street. That’s why I’ve included the Spanish Sesame Street podcast on this list! Sesame Street is famous for teaching kids words, letters, and giving useful info about topics that might scare a child, such as thunderstorms. Much like Los Niños y Jimeno, this podcast is entirely in Spanish, so you’ll get the most out of it if your kid already has some basic Spanish knowledge.
There are Many Ways to Learn!
We all have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning. Nurturing all the different learning styles will help you kid be a well-rounded learner, and knowing how they compensate when they are struggling to learn can give you insights on how to better guide them into an environment that makes the most out of their abilities.
Spanish podcasts are a great way to learn a new language, but one-on-one conversations will go above and beyond what any recording will be able to provide. If you’re interested in Spanish lessons with a native speaker, take a free class at Homeschool Spanish academy and take your child’s Spanish to the next level!
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