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I find that Radio Ambulante is an outstanding resource to practice listening comprehension, a skill that does not receive sufficient attention from teachers and instructional materials. Moreover, the diversity of voices and accents is ideal to introduce the sociolinguistic complexity of Spanish language and develop students’ critical awareness of the cultural, political, and social dimensions of language variation. Finally, the array of topics covered by Radio Ambulante allows for an approach to teaching Spanish through social justice; I typically task my students with research on the larger social, historical and political context, hoping to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions (too often present in commercial textbooks) and to promote their critical thinking and agency for social change.
Alberto Bruzos Moro, Ph.D.
Director, Spanish Language Program
I discovered Radio Ambulante while studying abroad in Argentina. Radio Ambulante caught my ears with an inviting narrative tone crafted to be accessible to listeners from all across the Spanish-speaking world. The show presents topical stories with detailed yet concise contextual information, balancing segments that frame the topic along with primary source interviews and tasteful transitional music.
Oberlin College Class of 2016, Comparative Literature major, Hispanic Studies and Dance minors.
I teach undergraduate language classes and make an effort to meaningfully introduce my students to Hispanic culture while developing communication skills. As of now, I have used RA as a culture project (students are asked to listen to five episodes over the course of the semester and to reflect on each one in a journal). I use RA because the format of the episodes are accessible to language students and the content of episodes introduces students to a diverse picture of Hispanic culture.
Graduate Teaching Fellow
Department of Romance Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The main purpose of listening to Radio Ambulante in my classroom is for students to get first hand testimonies from people who are living the social situations we discuss in class. Radio and podcasts provide a level of intimacy that cannot be matched by any other medium, and it makes it easier to students to empathize with the problem at hand. The possibility of reading the script as we listen to the podcast makes the content more accessible to different level of students, and the stories Radio Ambulante are always thought provoking and spark great discussions.
ELL Department Chair
St. Anne's-Belfield School
I have had the opportunity to view Radio Ambulante both from a student and teacher perspective. It is an invaluable resource not only for deeply listening and engaging with authentic Spanish language, but also for learning about the world around us. The stories are beautifully crafted and lift up varying perspectives. This year I am living in Mexico and continue to turn to Radio Ambulante to learn and grow.
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at la Universidad Tecnológica de Huejotzingo
Using RA has sparked my own creativity in the classroom. It has inspired me to experiment with my assignments and assessment. Teaching students how to listen has now become an objective. Recently, my literature students used the “Call for Pitches” to create their own crónicas in Spanish. They brainstormed, pitched ideas, and recorded their stories. They listened to countless hours of RA and immersed themselves in a way that exceeded my expectations. The projects created lifelong listeners. Former students still listen to RA and if they see me on campus, they often stop to chat about the latest story.
Iliana Portaro, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Department of Languages and Philosophy
Southern Utah University
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