Lupa

NPR’s Radio Ambulante podcast is an excellent listening resource but can be challenging for less advanced learners. Fortunately, the show has teamed up with the creators of a new language learning app to launch a new app: Lupa.

The app plays Radio Ambulante-style stories while you read along on the transcript. A slew of features help you adjust the difficulty level: to make listening easier, you can slow down the audio. You can swap back and forth between the Spanish transcript and its English translation. You can tap certain words to see their meaning, and those words are added to a vocabulary list that you can study later.

But you can also reduce your reliance on the transcript as your ear learns to pick up what the audio track is putting down. There’s a view that hides some of the words in the transcript, for example, and a setting that adjusts whether the “tricky bits” (words spoken quickly or in a strong accent) are hidden in this view or not. You’re encouraged to listen to each section of the story several times before moving on.

The app is free on iOS and Android, and comes with two stories. Once you’ve worked through those, you need a subscription ($10/month) to access the rest.
[Beth Skwarecki @ Lifehacker annotation]

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