AP Spanish Course Description
Course Description: This fifth level of Spanish emphasizes the use of language for active communication. There is a review of all key structures, vocabulary, and concepts within a great variety of thematic contexts and communicative exercises. The course also includes readings and analysis/synthesis of Spanish and Spanish American literature, culture, and current events, which encourage students to use Spanish in more sophisticated and creative ways and also provide essential vocabulary enrichment. Students will also do practice activities with the AP test format so that when taking the AP exam in May they will have gained a degree of comfort with the AP testing format. These students study throughout the full school year and are encouraged to sign-up to take the AP College Board Spanish Language test in May. Due to the small size of our school this has most often been a small group (5-10) of motivated students.
In this class students use Spanish in ways that reach a high level of proficiency; the course provides students with a learning experience equivalent to that of a third-year college course. Students exiting from our Advanced level Spanish class (4th semester of Spanish in our 4X4 Block schedule system; each one semester, one credit course consisting of 5X80 minutes per day) have been exposed to all the grammar forms/usages necessary to take the Spanish Language AP exam and have acquired a working vocabulary, as well as speaking and listening skills consistent with the AP expectations. The class is conducted entirely in Spanish (see language pledge below).
Therefore the AP course itself (one credit—both fall and spring semester every other day) is a class designed to hone speaking ability, improve listening capacity, expand vocabulary and cultural insights mainly through the study of literature, improve writing skills, and practice the specific AP exam format. There is a significant amount of writing in this class; students learn to brain-storm, synthesize, peer edit, pre-write, etc. Students complete formal writing assignments as well as journal entries, summaries, book/movie reviews, invitations, letters, etc.
The composition of the units, topics, and material chosen varies according to the whim of the teacher, the availability of opportunities for excursions to support curricular choices, current international events, and particular students’ interests. All materials used in this course are authentic. We read authentic literature, watch authentic films, listen to authentic recordings and music, etc. All vocabulary and grammar are reviewed and practiced in these authentic contexts as they emerge. Every year there is at least one excursion, often to Spanish Harlem and to the Spanish Repertory Theater in New York City. The trip provides excellent total language immersion, both at the play and during all the hours of the trip as the language pledge is observed.
A great variety of interactive student-driven classroom activities provide speaking practice while helping students to understand and appreciate the works read. For example, after reading La casa de Bernarda Alba each student is assigned to role-play one of the daughters of Bernarda. Each speaks to the rest of the class, describing her point of view of the unfolding events in the drama. Other example activities include but are not limited to: oral presentations, debates, mock trials, class discussions, advice-giving, oral surveys, and interviews.
To view the complete course description and criteria click here