I don’t know who started Audio Lingua or why, but it’s basically a repository of people, well, talking. About, well, stuff. All kinds of stuff. It seems people record themselves talking about something and upload it. But the sources are categorized by language and by levels for teachers and learners to use in language learning. It’s pretty basic, but here’s a run-down of the site.
First, you can leave the site in French, its original language, or you can change it to one of nine other languages: English, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, and Occitan.
There are two ways to search the site. First, the Advanced Search lets you search by languages, level, gender, age, and length of the audio. If you want to find all Spanish audio levels B1 and higher, this is the place to go. (Note: The levels are labeled as they are in European language classes, with A1 and A2 being the easiest, B1 and B2 higher, and so on.)
So, for example, if I set “language” to Spanish and “level” to B1, I get 180 results of Spanish speakers talking about stuff at an intermediate-ish level.
The other way to search is using quick search. I can enter in a word from a current unit or topic to quickly find themed resources.
A search for “familia” in Spanish yields 40 audio files.
I’m sure you’ve got lots of great ideas for how to use this audio. Ask important interpretive questions like: Who is the person talking to? What can you guess about their life based on what they say? What clues and strategies are helping you understand? Great questions, but my favorite way to get students using this, especially in preparation for the AP exam, is to have them compare what they hear with their own cultural perspectives. Even better, find two different audios on the same topic and compare those speakers with each other, then compare them with a student’s own perspective. Talk about deep, critical thinking!