Learning a language is as natural as learning to walk. If you have ever tried to learn a language and failed, chances are good that you were going about it the wrong way. Language is not stored in our heads in lists or categorized by rules, and so trying to make it stick in our brains through study, memorization, and analysis will almost always result in failure.
There is good news. If you learned a first language, you have already proven that you are capable of acquiring more languages. All you need is the right kind of input.
If you are longing to learn Spanish, The Garbanzo Spanish Podcast is one place that you can find just that–the right kind of input.
What is The Garbanzo Spanish Podcast?
Launched in August 2022, The Garbanzo Spanish podcast is a free resource for learners of all ages. Designed for beginning Spanish learners, each episode tells a story using a limited and repetitive set of vocabulary. New words are introduced in each episode and used in the story. Words from previous episodes are recycled from story to story so that listeners slowly build up their working vocabulary, naturally, through repeated exposure to vocabulary in context. The episode stories are aligned with The Somos Curriculum and with the Core Paths in the Garbanzo website so that teachers who are using these resources for classroom instruction can easily support what they are doing in class with our newest tool.
The Garbanzo Spanish Podcast is available on all major podcast platforms, and printable materials to accompany each lesson are available on The Garbanzo blog.
How can The Garbanzo Podcast help me learn Spanish?
Humans acquire language by understanding messages that we hear or read. The more language we understand, the more we are able to acquire. The best way to become more fluent in a language is to increase your exposure to the language (spend more time reading and listening to content in the language you want to learn) and to maximize the amount of understandable language that you are consuming. If you can't make sense of what you are hearing or what you are reading, you can't acquire it. For that reason, seeking out new, comprehensible content to consume is an important part of being an independent language learner.
If you are a beginning Spanish language learner, you can make greater gains faster by listening to and reading material in Spanish that uses very simple, controlled, and repetitive words and patterns. The Garbanzo Spanish Podcast is a perfect example of the kind of language you should be looking for! Our earliest episodes introduce just two or three new words in each story, and our storytellers use definitions and questioning to help you make sense of what you are hearing.
Check out this excerpt from Episode 8, ¡Cierra la puerta!:
If you are a more advanced Spanish language learner, you can make significant gains by listening to and reading material in Spanish that is more similar to the kinds of things that you are listening to and reading in your first language. If you love true crime podcasts in English, for example, you may be able to find true crime podcasts in Spanish that you love and can understand with reasonable ease. You might still enjoy the stories on The Garbanzo Spanish podcast, especially our special episodes like El dedo del pie peludo or our Season 1 Finale, available December 10!
What can I do with The Garbanzo Spanish Podcast?
If you are a beginning Spanish learner, follow The Garbanzo Spanish podcast on your favorite podcast platform and listen to new episodes as they are released. Many learners find that reading the stories while listening increases their understanding, and so you may wish to also download the printable materials and/or episode transcript from the Garbanzo Blog Post for each episode.
If you are a Spanish teacher, play the episode in class and use the printable materials for a ready-to-go lesson plan! New episodes are released every two weeks, and so you can plan on regular content that will really support your language learners. Alternatively, you can share the podcast link with your students for them to listen at home on their own or with their families!
No matter how, when, or why you listen--you will love the ease of acquiring Spanish with Garbanzo's simple stories.