A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Kids and families can learn more broadly about different Latino cultures and customs while refining their Spanish listening skills at an intermediate level. Episodes are both language lessons and life lessons for intermediate or advanced Spanish speakers who demonstrate decent comprehension of the language. English is infused throughout the story to explain the Spanish narration and give English learners a chance to practice their skills at an intermediate level as well. Allows immersive listening practice through narrative storytelling.
Stories of perseverance and determination, communities working together, following your dreams, and overcoming hardships. Each story facilitates the learning of Spanish and its different cultures in a specific and unique way.
Positive Role Models
Stories center around powerful messages of female empowerment, independence and personal safety. One episode tells the story of a Colombian special education teacher who moved to the U.S. with her daughter to try to make a better life overcoming challenges to start her own bilingual school for kids. Another tells the story of a Mexican-born chef fighting to build a successful barbacoa business after being smuggled into the U.S. to escape her abusive husband.
Each episode focuses on real-life stories of Latino citizens from different Central, South American countries and the Caribbean, including Colombia, Cuba, México, Venezuela, Perú, Chile, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and more. Both their triumphs and struggles are highlighted with specific insight into their specific culture and upbringing. There are powerful messages of female empowerment, personal safety, and independence. Portrays how sexism affects Latin American culture and how toxic masculine attitudes still exist in many Latino societies.
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Violence & Scariness
Some of the stories touch on themes such as domestic abuse, immigration, and political resistance and upheaval.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Duolingo Spanish Podcast is a narrative show that highlights compelling true-life stories on a wide variety of topics that recognize the significance of Latino experiences and culture. Hosted by Martina Castro, co-founder of NPR's Radio Ambulante, each episode aims to provide life lessons with its intimately personal stories of overcoming adversity. The stories are narrated in easy-to-understand English told in a clear, steady voice for Spanish listeners. Spanish is integrated throughout the stories as an integrated learning experience for listeners with an intermediate or advanced skillset in Spanish. Castro regularly chimes in in English, speaking in between the narration, providing context or background information about the stories. With themes of perseverance, determination, community bonding, overcoming obstacles, and family, the show's inspiring and uplifting stories offer an accurate, unbiased, and compassionate representation of Latinos. There are mentions and references to abuse and domestic violence, but nothing is graphic.
Is It Any Good?
Providing uplifting, immersive stories these audio journeys embrace different Latin American cultures with a realistic and objective view. Duolingo Spanish Podcast uses storytelling as a powerful device to communicate diversity and its many implications while highlighting eye-opening accounts that inspire empathy and understanding. The show succeeds at taking listeners through each person's journey with integrity and fairness and isn't coy about highlighting the more complicated aspects of each story. Stories usually end with a positive message, showing that life is a journey with its many ups and downs. It doesn't gloss over real-life issues and concepts that may be too abstract for a younger audience -- especially with Spanish and English proficiency at an intermediate level throughout.
At the same time, younger listeners fluent in the language—or who come from Latino communities and backgrounds—may find some of the real-life situations presented on the show as distressing. This presents a great opportunity for wider discussions between parents and kids or for educators in the classroom. The show isn't shy about discussing sexism in Latino culture and how toxic masculine attitudes still exist in many Latino societies today. Castro mentions these concepts and does so with objectivity, avoiding giving her opinions or reducing them to stereotypes. These situations are presented along with powerful messages of female empowerment, personal safety, and independence.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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