How to Use Mass Media in Spanish to Learn the Language
You can easily achieve even your toughest language goals with just a few simple doses of mass media in Spanish every day.
Simply put, mass media is technology that’s intended to reach a mass audience. It’s the way that the majority of the public gets their entertainment, news, and information. From grazing on Spanish magazines to watching your first telenovela, enjoy and succeed in every part of your language journey with this helpful media guide!
Why it’s Important to Use Mass Media in Spanish
Completely immersing yourself in Spanish is the quickest way to pick up this exciting language. Unfortunately, not everyone can hop on a plane to Mexico or Spain every weekend. Luckily, mass media in Spanish is here to save the day!
You may not be able to live in a Spanish-speaking country—but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring Spanish into your daily life! Think about the activities you do on a regular basis, like watching tv, reading a good book, or even listening to the radio.
Imagine how much your language skills would improve if you did these activities in Spanish!
Meet Yourself at Your Own Level
The beauty of language learning is that everyone is on their own path. Not everyone starts out with the same degree of fluency—and that’s completely normal! Whether you’re a beginner or advanced language learner, mass media in Spanish is a great way to practice. However, make sure to choose the media that is best suited to your level.
For example, if you’ve just begun your language journey you probably don’t want to start out by reading complex research articles with lots of scientific language. Instead, opt for fun Youtube videos or short stories in Spanish geared towards beginners. On the flip side, if you have years of Spanish under your belt, you’ll probably get bored with beginner books!
You’ll know your mass media in Spanish is at your perfect level when you’re able to understand the medium, but it’s still a fun challenge.
The best motivation behind language learning is excitement and passion! Find a book that speaks to you and has a topic you actually find interesting. The best way to avoid language burn-out is to incorporate Spanish into activities you already enjoy in English.
Reading books in Spanish is one such way to prepare your brain for Spanish. They are an incredibly helpful way to pick up new vocabulary and grammar. They teach you to use context in order to understand new words. This is an essential skill for any language learner! Additionally, books are great for independent students. You can work at your own pace and on your own time. Reading comes without the pressure of having to respond right away, rather, you can slowly go through the book page by page.
Which would you remember better: one of the 100 flash cards you’ve seen or an exciting plot twist?
Probably the plot twist! Books and stories are superior to flash cards. Don’t get me wrong—flashcards definitely have their purpose! However, if you’ve gotten to the point where you can read books in Spanish this is a much better option. Books tell engaging and thoughtful stories that are much easier to remember than a single word.
A great way to incorporate Spanish books into your routine is to choose a story you’ve already read but this time read it in your target language! This way you’ll have context and a good idea about the plot, but you get added Spanish practice.
If you love the idea of reading in Spanish but aren’t sure where to start, test out these 15 free bilingual books in Spanish and English online. Or, if you’re more of an audio reader, Spotify has a full selection of Spanish audiobooks.
There’s also hundreds of kids’ books in Spanish for language learning. Check out this list of the 7 best books to learn Spanish for kids. Are you an adult just starting your language journey? No problem! We created a list of the top 10 best books to learn Spanish for adults. You can even take yourself on a daring sci-fi journey with these 10 science fiction spanish books for adults (with PDFs).
No matter which page-turning adventure you choose, you’re sure to pick up a few new Spanish words along the way!
Looking for a Spanish challenge? Pick up a scholarly journal and test your language skills!
A journal is a scholarly publication containing articles written by researchers, professors, and other experts. Journals focus on a specific discipline or field of study. Unlike newspapers and magazines, journals cater to a more specific audience. If you can think of a topic, there is likely a journal that covers it!
Journals are great tools for accurate information but they have more formal vocabulary than a magazine or TV show. This makes them excellent practice for more advanced Spanish learners.
Search for your specific topic using Dialnet, a bibliographic database that indexes scholarly journal articles, book chapters, theses and monographs published in Spain.
Dive into the history of Mesoamerican through archaeology, art history and ethnohistory with Ancient Mesoamerica’s journal. Espacio, tiempo y forma will help you explore history, art, and architecture in Spain through research from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences (HJB) is an amazing resource with its case study reports, critical reviews of literature, conceptual articles, and scholarly notes relating to Hispanic populations. Meanwhile, the SJAR (Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research) will update you on the latest agricultural news and research.
The next time you do research, consider adding some Spanish journals into your bibliography!
You might be wondering, I already have books, why do I need magazines?
Well, magazines are a lot different than books. They’re less word heavy and have a lot more engaging pictures. They’re also extremely entertaining and less formal. This makes them less of a time investment and also more inviting for beginners.
Don’t have the time to dedicate to a whole book? A fun magazine about sports, cooking, fashion, or whatever hobby you love makes for a quick Spanish lesson on-the-go.
Another benefit of Spanish magazines is that they are filled to the brim with pop culture references and updated news. You’ll pick up the most popular slang, current events, and even some Spanish celebrity gossip!
Do you love art, painting, and colors? Take a look at Artishock to explore contemporary art throughout Latin America and Spain. Or, if you prefer to make masterpieces in the kitchen then Cocina Fácil might be more your style. This food magazine will bring you traditional cooking from all around the Spanish-speaking world.
You’ve probably heard of National Geographic and its stunning photography, well-researched topics, and creative insights. National Geographic en Español offers the same cultural, exotic, and natural wonders in Spanish!
If you’re still not sure which media to check out, we created lists of the best Latin American newspapers for intermediate learners and the most engaging Spanish magazines for kids.
Reading Spanish is only one half of language acquisition! To really dive all in, you’ll need to practice listening as well.
Listening to the radio provides an easy and entertaining activity that you can practice anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re stuck in traffic, folding laundry, or going for a walk, the radio makes for excellent company.
Radio also gives you updates on Spanish entertainment, information, and news. Stay in touch with Spanish culture everywhere you go! You can easily stream live radio from all over the world on your mobile devices.
RTVE is a perfect example. This national TV and radio network operates in Spain and offers an array of real-world video and radio clips that are excellent for improving your listening skills. Cadena SER is another great radio based in Spain. Cadena SER broadcasts programming covering a vast number of topics, including news, entertainment and culture. It is also one of the leading sources of sports coverage in the country, providing commentary for important soccer matches in La Liga or the UEFA Champions League.
You’ll want to add some Latin American radio stations to your mix as well. Radio Educación and W Radio Bogotá are both great options. Radio Educación broadcasts from Mexico City and produces high-quality Spanish language educational and informational programming. Meanwhile, W Radio is a Colombian radio station, which primarily airs news and talk shows.
Since these are real Spanish radio stations, the native speakers will talk fast. News in Slow Spanish is a great way to practice before diving in. It lets you listen to real news stories delivered at a slower rate than typical conversation.
Pick your favorite topic: sports, music, entertainment, or news. Then just hit play and you’re on your way to fluency!
Everyone loves sitting back on their couch and cozying up to a feel-good show. But what if you used your daily TV time to learn a new language?
TV makes for the perfect language teacher with its easy to follow video, exciting plot lines, and numerous shows to choose from. Whether you enjoy thrillers, action, or drama, watching television in Spanish can be personalized to your unique tastes.
Best of all, TV is for learners of all ages! Kids can enjoy classic Disney movies in Spanish or you can get everyone together to watch these family movies in Spanish on Netflix. Meanwhile, these native Spanish shows on Netflix are perfect for teenagers aged 14 and up. Still not sure what to watch? Take a look at this list of 9 Native Spanish Shows on Amazon Prime to Watch in Latin America.With age ranges from 7+ to 16+, there is something for everyone on this platform.
As you watch your favorite show in Spanish, your brain will automatically get used to Spanish pronunciation and flow. The more you watch, the more you’ll be able to understand!
TV has hundreds of context clues in its dialogue and video making it easy to figure out what’s going on. Even if you don’t know exactly what the character said, you can probably tell what happened by using the image on screen.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show knowing your working your Spanish muscles the whole way through!
The idea behind learning with mass media in Spanish is to incorporate the language into your everyday life. Everyday life wouldn’t be complete without the internet! This global connection medium provides the perfect platform for constant Spanish immersion.
Univision is a great website for Spanish learning with its interesting news, sports updates, and even daily horoscopes! Take advantage of this versatile Spanish site to practice your second language.
Do you prefer online videos over reading? Take a look at these 8 Spanish youtubers who make language learning fun. Telemundo is another site you’ll definitely want to check out. This video-based website has reality TV shows, news, telenovelas, and short clips from a wide range of interesting topics.
If you’re a sports lover, then Telemundo Deportes is perfect for you! This website is non-stop sports talk keeping you up-to-date on all your favorite Spanish players. However, if you prefer to surf social media rather than the web, make sure to follow these Spanish speakers on all of your favorite platforms.
The next time you need to look up a new recipe or research a new purchase, consider using Spanish. Bonus points if you change your computer or phone’s language into Spanish!
As you surf the web in Spanish, you might just find your new favorite cooking website or travel blog.
Nothing Can Beat a Free Class with a Native Teacher
Mass media in Spanish is an easy, fun, and creative way to achieve fluency faster. However, nothing really compares to a free Spanish class with one of our certified native-speaking teachers. They are experienced at working with language learners of all levels and will help you meet your language goals with ease. Sign up for your free class today!
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