Duolingo Spanish Podcast
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this podcast.
What 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.
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What’s It About?
DUOLINGO SPANISH PODCAST focuses on true stories that highlight how Latino people of diverse backgrounds embrace their American experience. This podcast is a language learning tool for more intermediate to advanced level English or Spanish learners. The true stories are told primarily in Spanish with simple English narration. Each episode presents compelling true accounts featuring ordinary people and occasional historical nonfiction. Specific seasons have moved away from from this format and focus on historical figures. For example, one season highlights the stories of iconic Latin American artists like Frida Kahlo, Gabriel García Marquez, and María Lejárraga. Full transcripts of each episode are available for listeners who want to follow along with the audio or use it as a reference.
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.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Duolingo Spanish Podcast presents Latino culture and experience. Was there any experiences you could relate to? If so, how did that feel? If not, what did you learn from these different experiences?
How do the people featured on the show demonstrate courage, perseverance, and teamwork? What obstacles did they face and what do you think could have helped them be more supported?
Some experiences in the stories told involved people having to leave their homes to escape unhealthy or abusive situations. Why do you think it is important to remove yourself from an unhealthy or dangerous situation? What does that feel like in your body? What are some tools and resources you can use to gain the courage to leave or change your environment, even when it feels scary or uncomfortable?
What are the benefits of learning and understanding a different language?
- Release date: December 6, 2017
- Genre: Language & Culture
- Average Run Time: 20 minutes
- Website: https://podcast.duolingo.com/spanish
- Host: Martina Castro
- Publishers: Duolingo, Adonde Media
- Pricing structure: Free
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 27, 2023
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