Current news for Spanish learners with podcasts … and it’s free

By Britta

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 09.55.11Do you like your students to be up-to-date with what’s going on in Spanish-speaking countries? Are you looking for graded articles that mirror what’s in the News? Are you looking for such a resource, hoping that it is free?

You are at the right place. At es.maryglasgowplus.com  we publish a topical news story at three proficiency levels together with a read-along podcast of the articles each week.

All three levels are accessible to you and the students – which makes the feature ideal for mixed-ability-classes.

Native speakers from Latin America and Spain record the stories so that students have the opportunity to listen to different Spanish accents.

Interactive questions and a word box with useful vocabulary accompany the articles. Students with a Mary Glasgow account can comment on the articles.

And yes … the feature is free!

That’s fantastic, right? Yes, we think so too. However, I think we could do even better and provide you with some standard comprehension activities to go with the weekly news stories – here are my favourite 3:

  1. Ask students to read the article and write down 5 facts from it. Pool the facts in class. Then have students listen to the podcast first with, then without reading along.
  2. The students work in pairs and read the story; together they write a summary of the article in their language and present it to the class. More advanced students do this activity by listening to the podcast only.
  3. Pair up students; one student reads the news story, the other student listens to it. The student who has read the story asks the student who has listened questions on each paragraph. Re-construct the story with the feedback from the ‘listeners’ on the whiteboard. The ‘readers’ correct or fill in the gaps.

I am sure there are many more ways in which you can exploit the news stories in the classroom. Let me know what you would do.

And yes, if you like the Spanish news stories why not spread the word: The feature is also available for French and English learners at maryglasgowplus.com .

In which way do you bring current affairs into your Spanish class? Do you use authentic material? Do you create your own news stories? We would love to hear your ideas.

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