Looking for a fun, brain-friendly way to improve your Spanish fast?
Look no further than the StoryLearning Spanish podcast!
In this article, I'll give you an introduction to the podcast and the team who have created it. Plus, I'll show you exactly how to get this most out of this incredible free resource so you can build your Spanish vocabulary and master grammar fast.
Can't wait to get started?
(Also available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.)
To find out more about the podcast, read on…
Meet The StoryLearning Spanish Team
Before we dive into the details, we should introduce ourselves first! That would be polite wouldn't it?
The StoryLearning Spanish podcast is the brainchild of Olly Richards and is hosted by Argentine writer, Sofía Poggi:
Olly Richards is a language educator, author and polyglot from the UK, who speaks 8 languages. He's the creator of the StoryLearning Spanish podcast. Through his popular blog, I Will Teach You A Language, Olly reaches over 500,000 language learners every month. He has published best-selling language story books in sixteen languages, has been featured widely in international press from the BBC to the El País, and is a regular speaker at international language events.
Sofía Félix Poggi
Sofía Félix Poggi was born in La Plata, Argentina, in 1992. They studied Art History and Journalism and currently works as a freelance creative writer and journalist, as well as hosting the StoryLearning Spanish podcast! Their big passions are writing fiction, learning languages and researching animation history (that is, watching cartoons!).
Now we've got the introductions out of the way, let's get down to business…
What Is The StoryLearning Spanish Podcast?
The StoryLearning Spanish podcast is a daily Spanish podcast for intermediate level learners (A2-B1).
All of my courses and books teach languages through a concept that I call StoryLearning… and this podcast is no different!
StoryLearning is based on the idea that rather than studying with textbooks, learning with stories is a much more natural way to improve. It allows you to build your vocabulary fast, and because you learn the language in context, you master grammar more easily.
The StoryLearning Spanish podcast centres around an original story in Spanish written by our podcast host, Sofía. It tells the story of six people from different backgrounds and different places, who meet by chance in San Sebastián and end up on an unexpected road trip around Spain together.
Each episode features one short chapter of our story and we release one new episode every single day.
So, there's no waiting for a week to get the next episode. You'll have a new chapter of the story to tune into every single day which means you can really develop the habit of listening to and immersing yourself in Spanish daily.
Who Is This Podcast For?
The podcast is aimed at a low intermediate level (A2-B1 on the Common European Framework [CEFR]). So, this podcast is not for complete beginners.
(If you are a complete beginner in Spanish, you'll probably struggle to understand it. I recommend starting with my beginner course, Spanish Uncovered, instead.)
We've designed this to be for low-intermediate and intermediate learners to help you get over what's called the “intermediate plateau”. This is a stage where you've been learning Spanish for a while but you're finding it really difficult to progress. You can't really string together long sentences, you forget words, and you find it difficult to understand what people are saying.
The way to break through this plateau and become a confident and advanced Spanish speaker is to spend lots of time reading and listening to Spanish at your level. And so that's what this podcast provides!
The Podcast Is Much More Than Just An Entertaining Story
The podcast is centred around a gripping story that I'm confident will have you coming back day after day for more.
But there's more to it than that…
Every single episode includes:
- Complete Story Text: First of all, we have the text. We decided to give you the text along with the oral form of podcast so that while you listen you can also read along to the transcript. You will find the transcript for each chapter in the “podcast description” section for each episode, right there in your favourite podcast app!
- Helpful Glossaries To Help You Learn New Words: Each episode also includes a glossary or word list, to help you build your Spanish vocab fast. We have selected around 10 words from every chapter to include in these glossaries.
These features are a big deal, because they're exactly the kind of thing you don't normally get with Spanish podcast.
The model that lots of podcasts follow is to give you the audio or the lessons for free and then to try and sell you the transcripts or the lesson notes. Kinda sucks!
But our aim here is to give you everything you need to improve your Spanish every day, no ifs or buts! We're not holding any of this back; we're giving you everything. Pretty sweet, huh?
Every episode will follow the same structure.
- First of all, you're going to have one narration of the story.
- Then after that you'll hear the glossary of difficult words.
- Then you are going to hear a repetition of the story so you get a chance to listen to it again without having to rewind
How To Use The StoryLearning Spanish Podcast
So by now you know what the StoryLearning podcast is and what we include in each episode.
But if you haven't learned with a story-based method before, you might be wondering, “Well okay, you're going to give me a chapter of a story every day, but what exactly do I do with it? How do I learn from that?”
Let's talk a little bit about how to use the podcast. These tips will help you get the most out of every episode so you can consistently improve your Spanish, every single day.
Your Goal = Immersion, NOT Study
The main concept of StoryLearning is that we're not studying rules in a textbook, we're not going through one lesson at a time doing exercises and things like that. We are getting lots and lots and lots of exposure to Spanish.
We're immersing ourselves in Spanish. But we're doing it at a level that is comprehensible to us, it's not too hard. That means that we can listen and read to the story and understand a fair amount of it. And when we understand a little bit (or maybe a lot!) that's when we can learn, because it's not too hard for us.
This is the main concept of StoryLearning: rather than studying exercises and grammar rules we spend time with Spanish, learning naturally. After all, this is the way that native speakers learn their language.
At a very basic level all you really have to do is come back to StoryLearning Spanish every day and listen to the podcast. This will take less than 10 minutes!
So, if you're super busy and you don't have time to listen multiple times that's fine, just come back and listen to the story and follow along with the plot.
Your main aim should be to follow along with the plot of the story.
- Don't worry if there are words you don't understand.
- Don't worry if there is grammar that's a bit difficult for you.
- Focus on understanding the plot and most importantly… keep coming back every day!
That is the best way to make the most of the podcasts because you're going to find that progress happens over time. It’s not going to be from one day to the next, but from one week until the next or maybe even one month to the next. Stick at it and eventually there will come a day when you suddenly realise that you can understanding pretty much everything!
Taking Your Study To The Next Level
Got a bit more time and want to take your Spanish study a step further?
If you do have extra time to study with each episode then here's what I recommend you do…
- Step 1: First of all, play the podcast and listen to the audio narration by itself (without looking at the transcript). You can repeat this step as many times as you like.
- Step 2: Look at the transcript and then read along while listening to the audio at the same time.
- Step 3: Use the glossary to check the meaning of any words you didn't understand.
- Step 4: Go back and listen again without the transcript and see how much more you can understand than when you started.
So, first you listen to the audio by itself and then you listen to the audio again and read the transcript at the same time.
The reason that it’s good to do it like this is because when you listen to the audio by itself, you're training your ear. So, you're getting a chance to try to understand the spoken Spanish without any help.
As soon as you add the text then you're getting a little bit of help. You're filling in the gaps of everything that you couldn't understand when you were just listening to the audio. So that's why we first listen to the audio and then we look at the text at the transcript.
Then we follow this with one of my favorite techniques: reading and listening at the same time. I'm a big fan of this technique because it helps you fill in the gaps as you go.
Finally, if you like you can go right back to the beginning and listen to the chapter one more time to see how much you can now understand just listening to the audio on its own again.
It’s like one big circular process of listening, reading, checking your understanding and then seeing how far you've come.
What Variety Of Spanish Is Used In The Podcast?
One of the most common questions I get about all my Spanish learning materials is this: “What variety of Spanish do you use?”
The story chapters in the podcast are narrated in Iberian Spanish by a professional voice actress from Spain. Your host, Sofía, is from Argentina, though she generally uses neutral Spanish when speaking at the beginning or end of a podcast episode.
The Spanish speaking world is full of so many different accents, but whatever kind of Spanish you're learning – whether you plan to move to Mexico or to Argentina or to Columbia – it doesn't matter. 99% of all Spanish is the same!
So don't make the mistake of discounting this podcast because it’s in a different kind of Spanish to what you're used to! There is so much here for you to learn and you're going to benefit from it hugely, no matter what dialect of Spanish you're most interested in.
Use Instagram To Dive Deeper Into The Story
Last but not least, we've created a special Instagram account for StoryLearning Spanish to enhance your experience of the podcast.
Now Instagram’s not for everybody, but lots of people love it (including Sofía and I!)
On the StoryLearning Spanish instagram account you'll find extra material and content to accompany the podcast. When you listen to each episode in your favourite podcast app, you already have the audio and the text. But with instagram we want to give you the visual part of the story and help breath even more live into your learning!
On instagram, you'll see posts from the different characters in our story so you can learn more about them and their adventures as the story develops. Expect to see pictures of the places mentioned in the story, illustrations of the characters themselves and much, much more!
So make sure to follow us! We're storylearningspanish on Instagram.
Want To Win Olly's Collection Of Spanish Books? Leave Us A Review!
One last thing before you go…
How would you like to win a FREE set of my best-selling Spanish story books (plus the accompanying audiobooks)?
These books are:
- Short Stories in Simple Spanish
- Short Stories in Intermediate Spanish
- 101 Conversations in Simple Spanish
- 101 Conversations in Intermediate Spanish
- 101 Conversations in Mexican Spanish
I'm going to take a copy of each book from my personal library and send them out (in the mail) to one lucky reader!
The winner will also get free digital copies of the accompanying audiobooks.
It’s a pretty sweet deal!
To enter, just follow the steps below:
- Subscribe to the StoryLearning Spanish podcast on Apple Podcasts
- Leave a review, then drop me an email to let me know you've done it!
- We'll check for your review and enter you in the draw for the the books!
That’s it! Easy, right?
Everyone who leaves a review will be entered into the draw for the books.
The only restriction is that you must leave your review by Friday, August 27th if you want to enter.
So what are you waiting for?
Here’s the link to listen to the podcast and leave your review now:
So there you have it…
A fun, exciting and natural way to immerse yourself in Spanish every single day and improve your skills fast.
We couldn't be prouder of the podcast we've produced and we're very excited to share it with the world.
¡Que lo disfrutes!
Are you excited to learn Spanish with the StoryLearning podcast? Email us or leave us a comment on our Instagram and let us know!