Learners are not all the same level: you may need a more or less help than someone else as you listen to the stories.

Fortunately we've got you covered. You can quickly customize the level and types of listening assistance you get while listening to Lupa stories. When you exercise you should choose a level of resistance that is challenging but not impossible. Likewise, in practicing listening It's important to give your ears enough to do, so you can improve fast and eventually understand like a native, even when speaking on the phone — "Look Ma, no eyes!"

Types of Assistance

Jiveworld started with a question: how many ways can we help you listen to natively spoken audio without showing you the whole transcript or translation? 

You want to avoid "pretend listening" i.e. reading (while sound is playing). Here's the list, with more details on each below:

  • Hintssemantic signposts that help you navigate through the chapter

  • Vocabularyselected by our language experts

  • SICirregular or incorrect usage that creeps into real speech

  • Tricky-bitsphrases that you might not catch, spoken fast or with an accent

  • Speaker Biosa memory jog of who they are and their role in the story

  • Speed Controlsloooow things down to give you more think time

  • Full Transcription and Translationfor when you REALLY need it

Listening Context

Context is everything — especially in "comprehensible input" the theoretical foundation for the Jiveworld Method.

Hints, and the Hint Bar

Stories zig, stories zag. As a learner it's easy to miss a turning and find yourself lost, fumbling to fit the words you do understand into the wrong context.

The Hint Bar at the top of the screen offers you some high-level context for passage you're in. If you've chosen to keep hints hidden by default, you'll see a Show Hint button.

There's also a button to the right to jump back to the top of the current passage, making it easy to listen over and over and challenge yourself to figure out what's happening without "peeking at the answer".

Speaker Bios

Some of our stories have a dozen or more characters, and it can be hard to keep track of who's who. You might also want help placing an accent. Just tap on the speaker name in the script to pop up a bio.

Full Translation

At times you need to check your comprehension. Either tap on the "EN" button at the bottom right, or swipe-left on the screen top open up the translation panel.

The current sentence highlights as it is spoken so it's easy to find your place and follow along.

"Selective redaction" features

The idea of redacting (hiding behind a pill shape) some but not all of the words in a transcript is a powerful idea that is unique to the Jiveworld Method. 

Any pill, or group of pills, that is underlined can be tapped to reveal the words underneath. When Assist Mode is on (the lightbulb icon, see below) some or all of these words may be shown automatically. You can control this behavior using the Assist Settings (also below).

If you tap on an underlined word you can see more information about it e.g. definition, note, correction. The colors indicate the different types of word groups: 

  • vocabulary (green)

  • SIC — non-standard usage (orange)

  • tricky-bit  (gray)


Viewing vocabulary will automatically add it to your vocabulary list. You can remove it by tapping the minus button shown here.

You can review your vocabulary list for a story by tapping on the green button above the chapter carousel

From within the list you can remove entries by tapping minus.


The term "sic" is used in copyediting — meaning "thus" in Latin — to indicate that an error of spelling or usage is faithfully reported as-is from a quoted source.

In general spoken language is not as precise as written language. We highlight in orange any odd words or phrases from the speaker's mouth.

Tricky-bits and Notes

Anything underlined in gray is either a tricky-bit, or something with a cultural note attached. Tricky-bits are words or phrases that can be difficult to catch by ear, either because of they way they are spoken, or because it is the name of a place or person that you might not be familiar with.

Features in the Assist Bar

Assist Mode is represented by the lightbulb icon. You can switch it on or off by tapping it. With it on, you can:

  • control the playback speed

  • specify which kinds of word groups will be shown or hidden by default (see above)

  • reveal the whole transcript that you're listening to

In the Jiveworld Method you are encouraged to listen to each chapter (at least) once with Assist Mode switched on, so you can study the new material and voices. But before proceeding to the following chapter, you should listen with it off, to bake-in the sound of native speakers speaking at a native speed.

Speed Control

With Assist Mode on you can slow down the playback from full speed (1.0x) to half speed (0.5x), or anything in between.

Remember there's a world of difference between slow Spanish (the artificial language you hear in most study course) and native Spanish slowed down. 

Full Transcription

When you do want to follow with the full transcript, tap the "abc" button on the right of the Assist Bar

Assist Settings (auto-reveal of hints, vocab, tricky-bits etc.)

By default the player is set to reveal the text for all hints, vocab, sic, and tricky-bits when Assist Mode is on. You can change this to suit your level of Spanish. Just tap on the gear icon to open the Assist Settings

While Assist Settings is open we pause the player and disable full transcript mode (if it was on). This way you can see how the screen changes as you play around with the three switches.

Remember that even when a switch is off, you can still tap on the pills to reveal the text for each word group individually. 

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