9 of the Best Podcasts for Learning Spanish

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Imagine what you would do if you could easily understand spoken Spanish.

You could finally travel to the Spanish-speaking countries you’ve dreamed of, watch foreign films and addictive telenovelas, or understand a paella recommendation from the _menu del día_on a Thursday in Valencia.

Best of all, you’d be prepared for real conversations with native Spanish-speakers. The only question is: how do you find the time to practice your Spanish listening skills?

Podcasts are a great way to add a little Spanish listening practice into your day-to-day life. They are free, and can accompany any part of your day: driving a car, washing your dishes, doing laundry, working out, reading, and more.

The Fluent Show

In addition to the Spanish podcasts you’ll find in this article, check out the Fluent Show. That’s my own show, co-hosted by Lindsay Williams, where we discuss languages, learning methods, and how to live a multilingual life.Click here to listen and subscribe.

Quick Primer: How Do Podcasts Work?

If you're curious about podcasts, but not quite sure how they work, here's what you need to know:

  1. You can subscribe for free to podcasts on your phone, tablet, or computer.
  2. If you use an iPhone or iPad, go to the Podcasts app. If you're on a Mac, use theiTunes directory.
  3. On a PC or Android device, try theStitcher app for a quick and easy start.
  4. Subscribing means you'll always have the latest episode ready and waiting for you as soon as it's published.

The 9 Best Spanish Podcasts for Learners

In this article, you’ll find:

  1. Spanish Podcasts for Beginners
  2. Spanish Podcasts for Intermediate and Advanced Learners
  3. Spanish Video Resources
  4. Story-Based Shows
  5. A Special Tip for Advanced Learners

To help you target your Spanish learning goals, this list also specifies whether a podcast uses Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, or offers options for both.

Spanish Podcasts for Beginners

Castilian Spanish

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Notes in Spanish

Notes in Spanish is a podcast run by Marina, a native speaker from Spain, and Ben, an Englishman. Each episode is actually a conversation between the two. There are episodes dedicated to beginners as well as intermediate and advanced learners. For beginners, the hosts also go over key vocabulary, phrases, and basic grammar points both before and after their conversations.

Since Ben is also a Spanish learner, he offers a lot of useful tips for listeners while Marina often provides corrections and points out common mistakes. They speak clearly, making it easy for beginners to follow along.

Castilian and Latin American Spanish


SpanishPod101 from InnovativeLanguage covers the basic through advanced levels of Spanish. The episodes are exciting and immersive. Plus, you can find episodes for both Castilian and Latin American Spanish along with the differences between them. There are even episodes that explain some of the regional vocabulary from places like Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, and Spain.

The dialogues are presented by engaging hosts in a clear, concise way covering many grammatical features and cultural topics. On the website you can sign up for premium content to access spaced repetition flashcards, PDF lesson notes, and a community forum.

Spanish Podcasts for Intermediate and Advanced Learners

Castilian Spanish

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Unlimited Spanish

Unlimited Spanish with Òscar Pellus uses a unique storytelling technique based on Òscar’s method of learning Spanish through exposure and repetition. Every episode includes a quick story followed by a question and answer session that encourages listeners to practice their speaking skills as well. It’s also a great option for anyone who doesn’t care for lengthy grammar explanations.

Podcast topics include various aspects of Spanish culture, including places and food, as well as social topics and situations. When necessary Òscar touches on some relevant vocabulary and grammar, but it isn’t overwhelming. The podcast is entirely in Spanish, but if you have any trouble understanding, you can download transcripts of every episode in PDF format.

Español Automático

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Done entirely in Spanish, this podcast is meant to provide an immersive experience for intermediate to advanced learners. The host, Karo Martínez, is lively, engaging, and speaks both clearly and naturally.

There are over 100 episodes to choose from, some of which explore grammar concepts, offer tips to improve your pronunciation, or explain colloquial expressions. Other episodes talk about different parts of Spain or even how to learn Spanish with popular shows like Game of Thrones.

The Español Automático site offers episode transcripts along with additional guides and resources.

Latin American Spanish

15 Minute Spanish for Your Job

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Though this podcast is directed towards those learning Spanish for work, its main goal is to help listeners get used to and understand native, spoken Spanish.

The host, Miguel Lira, is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico and a Spanish learning coach. Each episode goes over a particular conversation exchange in Spanish, such as conversations between workers or while simply ordering coffee. Miguel, as the sole host, uses a different tone of voice for each speaker, which is both entertaining and helpful as you follow along. There are also a few episodes on cultural subjects, like The Day of the Dead in Mexico.

In addition, the website offers notes, transcripts, and other resources to help you review the conversations.

Castilian and Latin American Spanish

News in Slow Spanish

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News in Slow Spanish is an intermediate level podcast. This podcast covers world news, grammar, and expressions and slows down all the dialogue to make it easier to process what you hear. Every episode breaks down a point on grammar and vocabulary. It also lets you choose between Castilian and Latin American Spanish.

The audio is very clear and easy to follow. On the website, there are transcripts for each episode available with grammar, expressions, pronunciation, and quizzes.

Spanish Video Resources

Yabla Spanish


Yabla is a video-based learning platform with bilingual subtitles and integrated dictionaries. The subtitles are interactive, which is a really cool concept! Check out how Yabla works in detail by reading myfull review.

Yabla is great for all levels from basic to advanced. You can check out their podcast and choose between videos from Spain and Latin America for hours of entertainment.

Story-Based Shows

Castilian Spanish

Coffee Break Spanish

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Coffee Break Spanish, a podcast from Radio Lingua Network, combines Spanish language lessons with a lot of useful information about Spanish food, culture, Spanish speaking countries, and so on.

My favourite part of the podcast is the chemistry between relaxed and charismatic host Mark from Scotland (who is fluent in Spanish) and Spanish learner Kara from Scotland. Mark guides both Kara and listeners through Spanish grammar, conversation, culture, and society.

The dialogues are presented in a clear, concise way, covering many grammatical features and cultural topics. On the website you can sign up for the premium content to access spaced repetition flashcards, PDF lesson notes, and a community forum for a subscription fee.

Latin American Spanish

Duolingo Spanish Podcast

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The Duolingo Spanish Podcast tells real-life stories from all across Latin America. Some of the stories are uplifting and inspiring while others are suspenseful and heartrending. Either way, they really make you want to hear more!

The stories are done partially in Spanish and partially in English, which makes it a great option for more advanced beginners who want to get used to spoken Spanish while still understanding what’s going on.

Advanced Learner Tip: Native Spanish Podcasts

If you’re interested in a more immersive experience, there are plenty of podcasts intended for native Spanish speakers available.

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One great option is the Radio Ambulante podcast. Radio Ambulante is a longform journalism podcast that shares real-life Latin American stories. There are stories about language, sports, education, events, and more. Plus, there are both English and Spanish transcripts available for every episode.

podcasts in spanish itunes directory

If you want an easy way to access even more Spanish podcasts, go to iTunes and switch your country setting to Spain, Mexico, or any other Spanish speaking country. There’s no restriction on your switch and you’ll be able to access all podcasts in the same way that listeners from those countries can.

This article was written by Cassie Wright and me. She’s a freelance writer who loves languages. Thanks Cassie!

Looking for more Spanish resources?

Click here to get my top tips for Spanish learners.

Which podcasts do you listen to for practicing your Spanish? Leave a comment below and share your tips.

Accelerate Your Speaking Skills with Speechling: In-Depth 100% Honest Review

Speaking in other languages is harder than it looks at first. You can read books and study flashcards, and still choke when you speak to a real person.

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It can be difficult to practice pronunciation and have conversations on a regular basis. Tutors are awesome, but your lesson time is limited. And many apps and bots make us feel detached.

Speechling claims to have cracked that problem. This new app offers speaking skill training, attractive design, and the most convenient access to a real person tutor that I have ever seen. No scheduling, no exchange of Skype names.

Sounds good, but does it work? In this review, let's take a deep dive and find out.

How does Speechling Work?

Speechling's courses use sentence repetition, a premise that you may know from fellow Fluent favourite Glossika. But there is a twist: Speechling includes feedback on everything you record, from an actual human.

After repeating the sentence you see and hear on the screen, you have the choice of listening back to your pronunciation, or to save it for coaching. After you save your recording, you will receive feedback and tips from a Speechling coach.

How I Tested The App

Speechling's six language options gave me the chance to test ot for at different levels:

  • Advanced (French),
  • Confident Beginner(Russian)
  • Absolute Beginner (Chinese).

The Advanced Learner Test: French

In French, my language level is around B2-C1 on the CEFR. I can navigate most conversations without hiccups, and I know for a fact that speaking French is what I need the most.

So for my level, saying a few sentences every day at my own convenience was perfect.

The live feedback here was eye-opening. I have an optimistic blind spot to my own weaknesses in pronunciation and word choice. I always learnt French in academic environments, so I produce great grammar. But in reality, my spoken French sounds textbook and a little uncomfortable. The coach feedback made me more aware of my little mistakes without discouraging me completely. I felt encouraged to try again, to fix what I was saying and carry on.

Describing a picture using Speechling's Freestyle mode

Describing a picture using Speechling's Freestyle mode

With the freestyle mode, I got to practice free speech instead of repeating pre-written sentences. In the dictation feature, I added listening comprehension at natural speeds.

The Confident Beginner Test: Russian

Russian is a language I studied about two years ago and I was able to have very basic exchanges (“what did you have for breakfast?” - “I had porridge”, that kind of stuff). I pronounce words correctly, and can read Cyrillic. So with this language, I wanted to see

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  1. if Speechling can teach me something new and
  2. if my pronunciation is accurate.

The module I chose was “Beginner (A1)”, which was a great entry point after a few years off. With each repetition, I felt like I was learning. The examples were well pronounced, came at a speed that felt like a suitable challenge, and soon I was improving.

I also felt that pronouncing each new word immediately helped me remember it, especially when I added a recording. The accountability of recording and coaching (“someone will actually hear this”) helped me link the phrase with a strong emotion. For more about how emotions amplify memory, check out my interview with Gabriel Wyner from Fluent Forever.

With a language like Russian, you need regular exposure to stay comfortable with the alphabet and pronunciation. Speechling surprised me here because it felt like the perfect tool. There were so many sentences I had never said before, and so many opportunities for me to improve.

Best of all, I was speaking Russian right there and then without any hesitation.

Of course, exposure to lots of sentences won't teach me more than lots of sentences. If I wanted to get back into Russian and start making steady progress, I would definitely use Speechling and I would add a textbook, dictionary, grammar explanations, and lots of input resources.

The Absolute Beginner Test: Chinese

Chinese is the only language out of Speechling’s range that I have never studied, so I decided to go for the “simplified” version. Does that mean easy Chinese? No idea, but it's worth a try. The module I chose was “Beginner (A1)”, as there was no way of picking anything even easier.

My Speechling Audio Diary

My Speechling Audio Diary

With Chinese, Speechling shows the sentences in Hanzi (Chinese characters). There is also the option of viewing the sentence in pinyin. Good job - it was the only way I could even start to guess at repeating the sounds I was hearing.

For a complete beginner like me, the sentences were interesting. I had to repeat the audio input 4-5 times before I dared to repeat the sounds. Surely, any Chinese speaker would be impressed?

Speaking Chinese to a Chinese Native After 5 Minutes

Well, I do know a Chinese speaker so I was ready to shine. Having newly acquired the sentence 今天很温暖 (“it’s warm today”), I asked my co-working buddy to listen to my Chinese and tell me if it’s correct. And he did understand what I was saying, although “impressed” would be stretching the truth a bit.

I also sent my recorded sentence to the Chinese coach, who drew my attention to the specific parts I got wrong.

Learning mass sentences as a complete beginner isn’t ideal. It leaves you without a sense of what each word means (which one out of jin tian hen nuan huo is “warm”, which one is “today”....and what do any of those symbols mean?). Learners don't get to understand what any of the rules of speaking are. But that’s okay, as Speechling not designed for that. This tool is a great confidence builder and accent sharpener. I could imagine it as a fantastic basis for tutoring, sending students away with homework on a topic.

Multilingual Usage

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If you have studied more than one of Speechling’s range of languages, you can view translations in any of the six languages. This means you get to practice two languages at once, and it’s one of easiest ways to train your polyglot muscles.

Downsides of Speechling

On several occasions, my recordings were too long to be saved for feedback. This is understandable, but it was frustrating particularly in the freestyle mode. It’s disappointing when you say a complex sentence to send to your coach, and then get a message saying “file too large - cannot save”. It would be great if Speechling could include a guide on how long I can record for.

For languages where I knew nothing at all, I’d also like to see a primer module so I understand what I'm doing. But this is a tiny point, especially since Speechling is not aimed at complete beginners.

In Conclusion: Speechling is Great

All in all, I found Speechling a great addition to my studies. It was challenging and helped me improve my pronunciation and speaking skills in three languages. I was most excited about what Speechling could do for my Russian language skills. I improved both my vocabulary and accent, and the process was efficient and fast.

Speechling is free from robot voices and works with male and female voices (native speakers, of course). Its interface looks great and it gets you into the action immediately.

I love the record-feedback cycle, because it prompts you to re-record a better version of what you said. You get feedback, and you improve pronunciation, confidence, and speed.

The coaches were great for all the languages I tried. They recorded speedy corrections. At the very early levels, feedback is not rich, because they are native speakers and they use their native languages. But even so, it was clear where exactly I was supposed to change something. The more you learn, the more you will get out of these coaches.

If you work with a tutor that you don’t see every day, definitely try adding Speechling to your language routine. You will be speaking your target language more, you'll build a better accent. And best of all, pronouncing all the new words will help you remember them faster.

How to Get Started (+ Speechling Discount)

Create a free account and start speaking at Speechling.com, or by download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Speechling is currently available in six languages: French, German, Spanish, English, Russian, and two types of Chinese.

It’s a freemium app, and you get 15-20 minutes of feedback for free every month. I would recommend checking out the paid plan (see below for 10% off) if you want to

  • get a speaking boost, especially when there’s a deadline
  • learn more than one language at once
  • keep track of your progress with the audio journal.

The unlimited plan is open to Fluent readers at a 10% Lifetime discount: Make sure you use the code FLUENT when you sign up.

Good to know: Speechling is a non-profit company and also has a classroom version called Speechling for Education. I have an existing relationship with Speechling as they are a sponsor of my podcast. This only influenced the amount of attention the product received, not the verdict. It is a cool app.

Have You Tried Speechling?

Are you a pronunciation master now? How did you like the coach feedback? Leave a comment below and share your story.

***hello from the future!!***

Since my original review of Speechling in February 2018, these folks have been hard at work and have just emailed me to share the following new developments.

1. A new module called "Speechling Foundations", which will teach newbies from the very beginning. This start from zero module covers teaches the most essential words in context.

2. New listening options: Speechling now offers listening comprehension, multiple choice, fill in the blank, and flashcards. It's all available for free without login. All of this works on mobile too.

3. More language! They've more than tripled our content collection.

4. Offline mode!! Premium users can download a huge chunk of Speechling’s sentence collection (~10k sentences) and even audio books and Anki decks .

I love it when an app listens to its users, this alone makes it worth checking out!

Click here to try Speechling for free, as long as you want.

Inside The Tandem Language Exchange App: A Full Review

What if I told you that right now you're only 10 minutes away from chatting about your dreams for the future in your brand new language...on your phone? Sounds mad, but that's exactly what the language exchange app Tandem is designed for.

In this full review, you'll discover exactly how to make the most out of language exchanges and become fluent on your phone.

Read More

The Book That Will Change How You See Language Learning (+ Clever Notes & Action Plan FREE)

One of the most common things I hear from language learners is

becoming fluent book

"what is the best way to do this?" You want to know how to learn a language, in as much detail as possible.

And it's hard to answer that question once and for all, for everyone. People are different, and no one's going to teach you good habits overnight. I know there are plenty of players out there telling you that their way of doing flash cards or listening to native content is the real answer.

But seriously, guys. What it really takes is that you learn to understand your own smart and capable self. That's where a book like Becoming Fluent comes in.

By the way, I've gone ahead and done a little bit of hard work for you guys. You can now click the button below and download my book notes for Becoming Fluent along with a fab little action plan template so you know what to do next.

What Is Becoming Fluent?

Becoming Fluent is an impressive book in the field of language acquisition. It's written with the scientific background expected from academics. But that doesn't mean that language learners cannot apply it to their lives: Throughout the book, the authors mix explanations and practical tips. The book is written for adult learners who want to conquer another language, and goes into the following topics:

  • What do you have to do to make sure you become a successful language learner?
  • How can you choose the right target language to study?
  • What are the best
  • How important is it to know the culture and norms of people who speak your target language every day?
  • How can you get better at memorising and remembering more?

Why It's Awesome

There are many language learning books out in the market that tell you all about how wonderful the author's methods are. Most successful polyglot-style books follow this system. The logic is that if following certain steps made the author fluent in another language, then you can do the same by copying the steps.

In Becoming Fluent, I detected none of this. The authors do work from their own experience in languages but never claim to know all the answers. Each chapter is based on a new aspect of language learning and gives a neutral summary of what the science says, followed by practical advice.

I've never used or endorsed the "copy a winner" approach, and I don't think it's quite how things work for language learners. Success in language learning is about more than just playing the game right. The more you learn and discover about yourself, your habits, your preferences and strengths in language learning, the more you will approach a real ability to learn any language quickly.

So for me, Becoming Fluent was an outstanding book about language learning because it doesn't tell you what exactly to do. This one is about empowering yourself to find your own perfect method.

What Wasn't So Great

Becoming Fluent is smart and thorough and scientific, which is a big rarity in language learning. It's great to read such a sensible voice in our field. The book comes at language learning from so many different angles that some great aspects get a little lost.

I would have liked the book's action-focused tips to be highlighted or separated from the main text, making it easier to find exactly how to put new insights into action. As it is, Becoming Fluent does require you to put in a few hours for reading, but this is time well spent.

My Favourite Parts

  • All of chapter 2, which addresses the many lies and misleading beliefs that we hold in our heads before we even start learning. If you can only listen to/read one part of the book, this chapter is going to make a massive difference. It's a small window into how your brain trips you up.
  • This sentence in Chapter 3:

"The REAL test of how well you speak a language is how easily you communicate when you are using that language, and the pleasure you derive from speaking it."

  • The ideas behind common ground and the zone of proximal development, which are all about how you think of how good you are, how good other people are in comparison, and how you can get better step-by-step.
  • The focus on learning and speaking a language like an adult, not a kid or teenager. This focus builds great insights, for example the understanding that it's more important to be yourself in another language than to sound "exactly like all the native speakers".
  • The image of tutors and helpers as a Sherpa, i.e. Someone who's climbing the mountain with you, showing you the way, teaching you about the process as you're doing it.
  • The concept of cognitive overload, which explains exactly why and how and when you get tired.

Overall, I am very happy that I read Becoming Fluent and recommend you check it out too. I ordered my copy from the local library and am very glad that it's in their catalogue now. You can get your own printed copy in the same way, or order it from Amazon (here's the US link and the UK link).

Don’t forget, you can grab my full book notes (9 pages!) by clicking the button below. They include your own action plan template and a checklist of books to check out, so next you can be prepared on your next visit to the library or to Amazon.

If you want to try a faster read gives instructions on what to do, try Fluency Made Achievable (which is written by me, so you will definitely enjoy it if you like this blog).

Conversation Countdown by Benny Lewis: Can You Start Any Language In A Week?

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If you're a regular Fluent reader, you'll know that my advice to any language learner is always to find a routine that feels steady and joyful. I've previously shared my own Welsh learning routine, which is designed for learning a language for life, not just for right now.

But every now and then, it's time to step it up and see what can be done when you start from zero.

A High Speed Language Fling

I'm currently speeding my way through the basics of a new language with with Icelandic, because next month I'll be spending 4 days in Reykjavik. You might say that 4 days of travel is hardly worth the effort. But for me, this is a lifelong daydream becoming reality. Before I even moved to England, I spent hours in my college room listening to Sigur Rós and staring at pics in this travel calendar.

When you learn a language for an upcoming trip, the purpose is not just to "look a little more polite as you meet the locals". Researcher Elizabeth Dunn has found that language learning for travel can boost your happiness when you make it part of anticipating your trip.

So when it comes to my little high-speed language adventure, the point is way more than just being able to ask where the Hallgrímskirkja is. This is about getting excited for the trip. The more Icelandic I play with right now, the more I can feel as if I'm already in the country. And once I get there, it's going to pay off.

Start A New Language In 5 Days

To get myself started, I went ahead and researched some tips from the main voice in speedy language: Benny Lewis. He offers a little course called Conversation Countdown, which I used to get added inspiration beyond what I would normally do.

I feel like I got to a nice little routine for "survival Icelandic" in just a few hours of work. I did not complete every action within the seven days suggested, but overall it felt like a realistic course with very well-produced videos.

Here are the actions I did take in Week 1:

Day 1

I got myself over to Omniglot, picked out a few polite phrases in the language and filmed yourself speaking immediately.

For me personally, the "immediately" aspect didn't feel as important as the course made it out to be. I'm confident speaking a language, no matter how little I know. But if you're a language learner just starting out, the effect is not just that you've got a nice thing to share online. This is also about your commitment to really doing this thing - invaluable!

So here is the result of day 1:

Yes, that's a dragon necklace.

Day 2

This day was about kicking into gear and creating vocabulary that will be relevant to my own situation. So instead of handy phrases from the phrasebook, the Conversation Countdown way sends you off to the dictionary.

Benny's instructions revolve around getting a great personal introduction onto paper. To be honest, I wish that I had also had a phrasebook available to pick up important travel patterns like Could I have a..., Excuse me, where is the.. and things like that. They are not so specific to me, but will allow me to navigate the typical situations with more comfort.

The selection of dictionaries I found for Icelandic didn't quite live up to my usual standards - it was Google Translate to the rescue. Here are the basics I decided to use:

Eg er fra Tyskaland --German
tungumál ithöfundur - language writer
I like learning languages - Mer líkar laera tungumál
fara í raektina - Going to the Gym
gera zumba - doing zumba
Ég eins og ferðalag - I like travel
elda - cooking
ég by i öðru landi - living in another country
sjónvarp i netflix - television and netflix
ég er gift - married
grænmetisæta - vegetarian
Eg hef by i Norður England i 2003 --- I've lived in England since 2003

How To Pronounce New Words?

Icelandic doesn't seem like a "say what you see" language, so I used Forvo where I could find the relevant words. For me personally, that was not really enough. This is one step in Benny's plan that didn't work so well for me - it didn't make me comfortable. I am better at picking up a language when I can spend 20 minutes on learning its sounds (guess that's why I created a German pronunciation course!). I ended up wishing I had a little dictionary with annotations and a phrasebook, and will be adding the Wikivoyage page to Forvo for future practice.

Day 3

After getting quite a few words of Icelandic onto paper, there's no more reason to wait. The Conversation Countdown course recommends getting out there with a native speaker.

If you are at the stage where you've said a few things in your new language to yourself only, there is no more reason to wait. Find yourself someone who will be happy to take half an hour to let you loose on them with that list of phrases, as this really will do wonders for your confidence.

Since I can't think of any friends who know the language, I hopped on italki and booked a trial lesson with an Icelandic tutor. Big props to italki there for its variety of native speakers in languages as rare as this one. My lesson was booked in just a few minutes, and Óskar sent me a message within minutes.

I sent him my vocab list from Day 2 - trust me when I say I got 85% of it somewhat wrong, but he still understood what I was trying to say.

Another great resource you should use for connecting with helpful native speakers is Hello Talk, which is the best free smartphone app for language learning.

Day 4 -> Day 6

I admit it - at day 4 in Benny's course, my daily responsibilities took over and Icelandic dropped off the radar for a short while. This is a great time to fast forward to the lesson he includes at Day 6 - just practice what you are learning and find what is fun for you.

This lesson is crucial. You're never going to learn a language if all you do is follow someone else's roadmap, so go ahead and make your own. Out of the suggested tips, a few were downright silly but I gravitated to what felt perfect for me: learning Icelandic through music. I dug out one of my favourite albums, Ágætis byrjun, and studied the lyrics to "smash hit" Svefn-g-englar.

Now I just have to work out who will want to listen to my poetry recital about childbirth.

Day 7

In this course which is totally focused on pushing learners to speak to a native speaker or tutor in 7 days, this day is obviously the highlight. And if that is the goal you have set yourself by signing up, I think you're going to be both awesome and ready. Benny emphasized how scary the whole experience is going to be - that cannot be avoided, right? But it's as scary as it is rewarding.

In Icelandic, I'm booked in for my first live class in 7 days. Cheating? No! Read on to find out what I think of that word.

Conversation Countdown: Yay or Nay?

Benny Lewis's course is completely and utterly focused on conversation. It instils a significant amount of bravado and holds you to your promise to yourself throughout, making language about being outgoing and connecting quickly with other people. He provides a lot of scripts and specific steps, and the pacing of daily emails is a nice way to move learners along.

What I didn't like so much was this idea of cheating in another language. When you come out and speak badly, there is no need to be ashamed.

In the course, he does provide some excellent sentences that you totally know you're going to need (things like Can you say this slower please? It's my first day.).

So if you set yourself up for stock phrases and practice a conversation that is somewhat predictable, you are not cheating. You're learning just as much, no need to pretend that you're a fluent genius of fluency.

If what you're after is this remarkable feeling of conversing in another language, feeling proud of yourself and having a breakthrough, then go and sign yourself up to Conversation Countdown. It's a good place to get started and deliver that early success experience.

If talking to a native speaker is not on your immediate to-do list right now, the steps are still useful and fun, but you may feel a little bit of pressure to do that conversation thing throughout.

Have You Had A Conversation Countdown?

If you have ever pushed yourself to learn a new language and speak to a native speaker in a very short time, how did you get on? Which other tips do you have for me in my mini Icelandic project?

Let me know in the comments below!

Olly Richards' Language Learning Foundations Course reviewed in Full

In every language learning story, there comes a moment where you start wondering whether you’re doing things in the right way. You may start off with a burst of inspiration and the certainty that you’ll be fluent in just a few months. Then weird things start to happen. You wonder how to work less, remember more, and whether you’re cut out for studying every day. You miss a day, you google “is this normal?”.

And before you know it, you’re caught in “what the hell should I do?” territory feeling like a loser.

If any of that kind of feeling sounds familiar, let me tell you one thing: You don’t need any more theories. You need to start doing sensible things and following simple steps. In today’s review, I want to share a course that is all about teaching those simple steps.

Course Structure

Language Learning Foundations by Olly Richards is offered through his popular site iwillteachyoualanguage.com. It is not a huge course that will take you weeks to complete. It consists of 10 video lectures. You could block yourself off half a rainy Saturday, get comfortable with a laptop and use the time to overhaul your whole language routine. I’d say that’s a lot better than overloading your whole system.

Language Learning Foundations answers some of the most common questions that I see language learners ask all the time, and in this course you will get some answers that really help you out. Olly provides tips and instructions that will help you learn more effectively and achieve your goals a little faster.

Every training video and slideshow can be downloaded. They require some concentration from you, but I was impressed because they were all designed for real life. There's no dry theory here, instead you get tips that you can apply immediately.

How to make progress and not get distracted

For example, Module 3 is called “How to make progress and not get distracted”. Olly goes into detail here about how to get started, advising first of all on the best criteria for a helpful textbook or resource. This alone could save you hours of failed attempts with materials that just don't work. He then brings a bunch of solid arguments for why learners should select this type of resource, and what makes them different from other higgledy-piggledy types of approaches.

In the same module, Olly then moves on to sharing his own views on what your learning mindset should be when working with materials such as textbooks. Finally, there's an exact strategy for the actions you should take with textbook dialogues and audio examples. His advice is very detailed and focused throughout, it's the real deal and so helpful if you want to know how to learn a language independently.

Each module’s video takes 10-15 minutes to watch, but I think you should allow a quarter hour to digest their content afterwards and really think about how you’ll apply what Olly just discussed.

What’s in the package?

Olly has put together two different course packages, starting from just $47 which is a kick-ass price for a course that will enable you to learn without Rosetta Stone, without classes, without hand-holding. You can even upgrade the course to get an ebook version and audio training so you can learn away from your computer. He also offers interviews with four experts:

  • Alex Rawlings (only the most multilingual student in Britain!)
  • Richard Simcott
  • Chris Parker (famously fluent in Mandarin Chinese) and
  • …me as the language learning and teaching poster girl.

Olly’s interview with me was excellent. He asked intelligent questions, made sure every answer I gave was practical and useful for all learners, and our conversation goes perfectly with what this course is all about. So in other words, if you have the extra pennies to invest in these expert videos, go for it.

The slides and audio quality are fabulous throughout, by the way, and Olly also does that thing I love in video teachers: he shows his face regularly and speaks to you as the learner so you know this is your dedicated instructor.

Who’s it for?

Language Learning Foundations is designed so it can benefit any learner, especially beginners or those who are keen to reach dizzy polyglot heights.

A course like this is best if you’ve never enjoyed formal language training and you want to learn a language in your own way.

If you hated language learning in school, then you will enjoy Language Learning Foundations.


Olly has gone into great detail in his language learning course. He is a teacher and language blogger and speaks 7 languages himself. The course is for those who are looking for the best method to teach them skills for learning a language independently.

At the end of Language Learning Foundations, you will

  • Know specific techniques for setting your intentions, staying motivated and experiencing language learning success
  • Be able to select the perfect materials FOR YOU and know how to cut through empty promises
  • Feel confident and ready to tackle the world in a new language
  • Have solid foundations for cutting out the things in language learning that have always frustrated you

It is an incredibly friendly experience, so go and try out Language Learning Foundations if you’re new to language learning.

You can purchase the basic or extended video course versions from Olly’s course page.

Thanks for reading this article on Fluent, the Language Learning Blog. The links in this article are affiliate links and support Fluent without costing you any more money. My review is not paid for and being an affiliate did not affect the content.

Introducing First Results and Happy Readers

In the journey of creating something individual and unique, sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees. For me, the most recent months have at times felt like this. I wrote The Vocab Cookbook and reviewed and updated all of Fluency Made Achievable, created the resources for the online Combo pack and so much more.

After the first month of my books being published, I'm excited to let you know that I have counted over 50 happy readers already. And here is PROOF that people are making real progress.

The new readers have been:

  • Trying out exciting memorization techniques like memory palaces - just check out Richard Gilzean's story, for example
  • Organising their learning routines better through the Three Week Plan in Fluency Made Achievable
  • Testing their own core skills profiles
  • Inspired to make their own vocab learning recipes inspired by my interview with Oli Antosch in The Vocab Cookbook
  • Started a whole new Flashcard library - on paper, not on Anki!

You Can Try Before You Buy

I am over the moon today and so proud to be giving you an exclusive first ever sample of the official Fluency Made Achievable AUDIOBOOK! The intro and conclusion are read in my own voice, with the bulk of the book coming to you read by a fabulous voice artist (another Kirsten!) hand selected by me.

Here is a round-up of where you can get yourself a copy of the new Fluent guides.

On Fluentlanguage.co.uk

language learning books

I am selling the best packages on my own website, featuring three file formats for all e-readers as well as worksheets and bonuses. Read them on your iPad, Kindle, Nook, kobo or desktop screen. There is a format for each one.

The UK Store has Fluency Made Achievable* and The Vocab Cookbook*.

The US Store has Fluency Made Achievable and The Vocab Cookbook.

If you're located somewhere else, simply search your amazon store for "Kerstin Hammes".

On Audible

Yes indeed, Fluency Made Achievable is now available on Audible, a great marketplace for audiobooks for any kinds of readers. I'm right next to Michel Thomas!

New subscribers to Audible can even listen to the full audiobook for free as part of their free trial.

First Book Reviews:

I am reading your book and loving it, loving it! You’re the only one I’ve read that discussions the four core skills, offers assessments and a plan! (Judi Martindale)

I have devoured your books and I really enjoyed them. (Marco Nieri)

You can read lots more reviews on Amazon too! Have you checked the books out yet?

*these links are affiliate links which help me keep www.fluentlanguage.co.uk going