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SpanishPod
Other names SpanishSense
Genre Educational, Language course
Running time Lesson Shows (8-17 minutes)
Extra Shows (5-15 minutes)
Country China
Languages English, Spanish
Starring JP Villanueva
Liliana Mata
Estibalitz Gete Moreno
Leonardo Guerrero
Creators JP Villanueva
Liliana Mata
Recording studio Shanghai
Air dates since November 2007
No. of episodes 390 (As of April 22, 2009)
Audio format MP3
Website http://spanishpod.com
Podcast http://spanishpod.com/feed/public

SpanishPod is a language course podcast and accompanying website that offers lessons in Spanish. The service was founded in 2007 and is the second such language site from Praxis Language Ltd., after ChinesePod and was followed by FrenchPod and ItalianPod. It is not free of charge.

Contents

Overview

The site was initially founded under the name SpanishSense and offered daily episodes. However, the production schedule was scaled back to 3 episodes per week because the owners felt standards weren't being met.[1] With the addition of two new hosts, JP Villanueva and Liliana Mata, the site relaunched as SpanishPod in late 2007.[2]

SpanishPod currently offers lesson podcasts on a schedule of 3 per week with additional extra shows on the weekend. The podcasts are accompanied by text expansion exercises and other tutoring aids for paid subscribers. It is based in Shanghai, China and hosted by JP Villanueva, Liliana Mata, Leonardo Guerrero, and Estibalitz Gete Moreno.

The lesson shows range in difficulty from "Newbie" to "Advanced" and have an average length of ten to twenty minutes lesson time. Since September 2008, only the "Newbie" lesson shows and the extra shows are offered for free. Users are encouraged to interact with the SpanishPod hosts and listeners around the world on the website and in the forums.

An article from Best Life Magazine in April 2008 selected SpanishPod as one of the 10 best podcasts on the internet[1] and as of April 2009, SpanishPod has 385 shows available for download for paid subscribers.

Shows

SpanishPod's main goal is to teach spoken Spanish to its listeners. For the listener's convenience, there are several levels of difficulty. Between the levels, the dialogue becomes progressively harder, and the hosts transition from English to fluent Spanish. Each lesson show usually contains a Spanish or English conversation, and then proceeds to the Spanish dialogue of the day. Afterwards, the hosts discuss the dialogue's interpretation and structure and provide context for the new vocabulary used in the dialogue. Then the dialogue is repeated once more. The majority of the lessons are given descriptive titles to make searching easier.

The shows are currently offered in three groups:

  • Lesson Shows (only “Newbie” shows are offered for free): These shows follow the standard lesson format of the various difficulty levels listed below. The typical length of an episode varies from 8 to 17 minutes.
  • Extra Shows (“Del Taco al Tango” and “¿Qué pasa?” are offered for free):
    • Del Taco al Tango: These shows are about the various cultural difference in Latin America and Spain. This series features Spanish-speaking guests that offer unique perspectives on their native slang, cuisines, and cultural nuances. The shows are either in Spanish or in English with some words and phrases in Spanish. The typical length of an episode varies from 10 to 15 minutes.
    • ¿Qué pasa?: These shows present news about the website and the company. They are hosted by JP Villanueva and Leonardo Guerrero.
    • Pa'que sepas...: In these shows users' questions are answered. They are hosted by JP Villanueva and Leonardo Guerrero and/or

Estibalitz Gete Moreno and/or Liliana Mata.

  • ¡Oye como va!: is a music show that teaches the lyrics of Spanish and Latin American songs. This show helps users learn Spanish through one of the most important avenues of cultural expression: music.
  • Video Shows (only for paid subscribers):
    • Cooking with Tabasco: In these videocasts, Leonardo Guerrero presents Mexican recipes. Leo is usually joined by JP Villanueva and Liliana Mata.
    • La Clave: In these videocasts JP Villanueva discusses Spanish grammar. There are appearances of Liliana Mata, Leonardo Guerrero, Estibalitz Gete Moreno, and other employees of the company Praxis Language Ltd..
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Levels

  • Newbie: Lessons are given in English. When Spanish is spoken, there is plenty of clear repetition. The dialogues are repeated three times, translated, and then analyzed. Basic phrases and expressions used for courtesy and travel are emphasized, along with grammatical support for communication in the immediate present. The shows are hosted by JP Villanueva and Liliana Mata.
  • Elementary: This level features longer dialogues, more elements of grammar, and a wider range of everyday applications than the Newbie lessons. The listener is taught how to discuss events that happened in the present and past, and how to express opinions and preferences. The shows are hosted by JP Villanueva and Liliana Mata, who give a thorough treatment of lesson content, including grammar structures and pronunciation.
  • Intermediate: At this level, the hosts narrate events more precisely in the past, present, and future. In these lessons Liliana Mata speaks almost entirely in Spanish, while JP Villanueva usually speaks English.
  • Upper Intermediate: Adds conjecture and conditionality, as well as Spanish subjunctive mood. Lessons are taught primarily in Spanish, shifting back to English for the occasional vocabulary item. The shows are hosted by Liliana Mata and JP Villanueva.
  • Advanced: Lessons focus on introducing specialized vocabulary, practicing problematic grammatical features, and lively Spanish language discussion. The lessons are conducted entirely in Spanish, including explanations of grammar and vocabulary. They also feature more use of idioms than the lower levels. These shows are hosted by Liliana Mata and Estibalitz Gete Moreno.

Hosts

  • John Patrick (JP) Villanueva: Holds a Master of Arts in Romance Linguistics from the University of Michigan, specializing in first- and second-language acquisition, as well as foreign language pedagogy; specifically, communicative/task based method. A native of Seattle, Washington, he taught Spanish and French at the high school and university levels for 12 years. JP left SpanishPod in late June of 2009.
  • Liliana (Lili) Mata: Originally from Mexico, she has a BA in International Relations with experience as a translator and editor.She attended the Universidad de las Americas Puebla UDLAP. She went on to study Political Science in Pierre Mendes France in Grenoble, France. She is also the co-host of Qingwen on ChinesePod.
  • Estibalitz (Esti) Gete Moreno: is originally from San Sebastián, Spain. She holds a BA in Foreign Language Education from the University of the Basque Country. She has experience as a Spanish teaching assistant at the Mount Union College in Ohio. Esti left SpanishPod in July of 2009.
  • Jorge Leonardo (Leo) Guerrero Vargas: is from Hermosillo, Mexico. He received a B.A. in Business from Laval University in Quebec with minors in Marketing and International Business.

References

  1. ^ SpanishSense Changes. Praxis Languages blog. October 19, 2007.
  2. ^ "Scheduled Maintenance on ChinesePod, SpanishPod." Praxis Language blog. November 19, 2007

See also

External links


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