Thursday, April 17, 2008

Liz: The Benefits of a Paid Subscription to

I was very excited to see that SpanishPod posted a response to my blog about their web site! You can see what they wrote if you go my last blog and click on comments. JP said that we could write to them and put in requests so that the lessons would be related to what we are talking about in class! I thought this was a great idea! I’m very excited because I think that this would make the podcasts much more useful to our class! I was also looking into more detail at the website to see what the lesson plans are like. You can listen to the podcasts for free any time you want but if you want to look at the lesson plans you have to have a paid subscription. With the voucher Ann Abbott gave me, I was able to get access to the lesson plans. Each podcast has its own lesson plan that is divided into five sections:

The first is Discussion, which is actually available to anyone. Under this part of the lesson plans, you can post a response to the podcast or start a conversation on a related topic. It’s very interesting to see what other users think. There are actually quite a few people that respond, it’s as though the program was more like a blog than a podcast. Check it out if you want because you don’t have to be a paid subscriber to have access to it.

The second part of the lesson plan is called Dialogue. This part is interesting because it is a list of all of the important questions and points that came up in the podcast. All of it is written in Spanish so that the students can practice following along if they need to. I thought the greatest part of this section is that when you move your mouse over a word, an English definition automatically pops up! I really like this idea because then the students know instantly what a word is and they don’t have to stop the podcast or miss out on part of the dialogue by trying to look up a word. Plus they have sound bites of native speakers repeating the phrases so you can listen and practice pronunciation.

Then there is a lesson section for vocabulary. This part is pretty self-explanatory; there is a list of important words you need to know related to the topic and of course the English definition. The cool thing is that they also include supplementary vocabulary so that the students can see the more challenging words and use those if they want to. This part also includes sound bites.

The Expansion section is actually an extended version of the vocabulary. This time the vocabulary words are used in a sentence and multiple examples are provided for each word. This section provides the English translations of each sentence and an example of a native speaker of Spanish saying the phrase.

The last section of the lesson is called Exercises. This part usually has some sort of multiple choice quiz where the students can test their progress and see which language skills they need to work on.

The lessons are very helpful and I think that they could be very useful tools with a class like Spanish 232. It would be great if we could incorporate it into our program! I understand that most students do not have the money to subscribe to get the lessons, but even so I would say that the podcasts are worth listening to, and they’re free! I think the class could use SpanishPod as a listening exercise similar to Nuevos Horizontes. Plus for some of the Diarios they could post comments the Discussion section. If anyone else has any comments, I would love to hear what other students have to say about SpanishPod!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Liz,

    We have a discount for students, and as well a special deal for people that join as groups. I'm just rushing out the door, but I'll send you the link to the info pages.

    Take care!