Category Archives: tandem

aprender español – número dos (learning spanish – number two)

¡Hola todo el mundo! Es Kara con un actualización de español.

(Hi everyone! It’s Kara with a Spanish update.)

In my previous blog post, I shared that I wanted to practice listening to and speaking more Spanish. Enter Tandem, the language exchange app that I decided to try out this week.

I had a lot to say about this app and the other online resources I tested out this week, so I decided to do my update vlog-style again. My video ended up being a bit longer than I anticipated, so no hard feelings if you don’t want to watch all of it. Feel free to scroll down to my written highlights below.

TL; DW (Too Long; Didn’t Watch) Summary

Tandem – a language exchange app where you can chat with native speakers from around the world in a variety of different languages. You get the opportunity to practice the language you want to learn, while also helping out others who want to learn your native language.


  • the app offers both written and audio messaging functions, so you can read, write, listen, and speak in your language of choice
  • the app also offers live video calling (I did not try this function, as I did not feel comfortable)
  • ‘translate’ and ‘comment’ options are embedded right into the messaging platform, so you can translate what someone has said into English if you don’t understand or offer corrections on how to say things properly
  • the app has clearly-defined community guidelines, and you have to be accepted into the community after putting some basic information into your profile
  • there is always someone on the app ready to chat with you
  • way to practice basic get-to-know-you phrases and topics of conversation
  • the app will flag messages that are sketchy or suspicious
  • free version is more than sufficient; don’t need to have the paid version IMO


  • the number of messages and requests to chat can be overwhelming
  • not great if you are only at a beginner level, as you are limited in what you can say and understand (I had Google Translate open while using this app, so I could try to talk about new things and figure out how to say things I didn’t know yet)
  • can be a big time suck (once I got into a conversation with a few people, I would be on the app for over an hour)

Overall, I think Tandem can be an interesting language-learning tool if you are willing to overlook some of its annoying ‘cons.’

News In Slow Spanish – a website that offers short news stories that are 100% written and read aloud in basic Spanish. The website also has podcast-like lessons on a variety of grammar and vocabulary topics that you can listen to (but also read at the same time, as they have included scripts to accompany them).


  • allows you to read about current topics in Spanish and learn new words in an authentic context
  • news articles are read at a slow pace, and you can change the speed to be slower or faster
  • offers pop-up icons with English translations of phrases or words the reader might not know
  • variety of other resources on the website
  • offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of news articles


  • you need a subscription to access full news articles and resources (free trial for one week)

In summary, I really like this platform, but don’t anticipate I will pay $23 US each month to keep this service after my free trial ends.

¿Ahora Que? (What Now?)

  • continue with Duolingo, Drops, and Tandem
  • listen to some Spanish-learning podcasts
  • check out some Spanish content on TikTok

¡Gracias por leer mi publicación! (Thanks for reading my post!)

Hasta la proxima vez (Until next time),