AP Spanish Course Description(audit)

AP Spanish Language WHS 2012-2013

  (Audit submitted and approved by the College Board for Exam 2013)


Brief Description of Course

The overarching goal of the course is to challenge the students and elevate their language skills.  Exercises and activities that promote listening, speaking, reading and writing will be ongoing.  The students will be engaged in activities that employ and combine all of these language skills, using the new format and rubrics of the AP Spanish test.  Many of the assessment, both formal and informal will be based on those rubrics.

 [C2, C7]


The AP Spanish course is taught exclusively in Spanish and all student participation must be in Spanish once they enter the classroom; even the small talk of classmates before the bell rings to start the class.  During group, students who do not use Spanish will lose points from their “preparation points,” which will detract from their quarterly grade.  Students are made aware of their obligation to speak only Spanish when they sign (along with their parents) the AP Spanish agreement.  The agreement explains the teacher’s expectations for the class and the students’ obligations to be well prepared in order to make the class run smoothly and expeditiously. [C1]


To prepare for the course students begin with summer reading: two short stories of Ana María Matute [C4], and a self-directed study of verbs in all tenses of the indicative mood.  They are also responsible for all the grammar presented in chapters 1 through 3 of  Una vez más which correspond to chapters 1-4 in  En contacto: gramática en acción.  For the reading, the students have the understanding that the teacher will not discuss or assist them with it before they take the test on the fourth day of classes.  The following week, on the eighth day o classes, they will be tested on the verbs and points of grammar from chapters 1 through 3 of  Una vez más ,  along with an extensive verb list. [C2]


The course will consist of reviewing and recycling points of grammar from the previous years with an emphasis on the subjunctive mood in the past and present tense and on the sequence of tenses.


Authentic literature and journalism both in written and audio form, from all or most of the Spanish speaking countries,  will be sampled from the En contacto reader as well as from other texts of the course, which include, Triángulo, AP Spanish, Preparing for the language Examination (AP Spanish), Lecturas avanzadas and internet sources.  Spanish speaking television programs and films will be other sources for authentic materials. [C2]


During the course of the school year students will keep a weekly journal that chronicles their lives and /or school events.  It will be checked every other week.  Through teacher corrections and conferencing with the student, improvements in writing should be reflected both in the informal and formal writing.  As the year progresses greater sophistication should be seen in the writing. [C6]


Also, during the course of the year students will correspond twice a month with students in Madrid or Barcelona via the secure, monitored website ePals. [C6)


The students will speak on a regular basis, individually and in groups, both in class and in the language lab.  They will also make short informal presentations and longer, more formal presentations to the class.  During the course of the year, the students will have one debate per quarter.  For each debate, students will be given a stance that they must defend and time to prepare their argument. [C5]


Students will have numerous opportunities to hear authentic audio from the videos and various sources that have been enumerated  [C3]


At the beginning of the second quarter, each student will adopt a Spanish speaking country as an ongoing project for the remainder of the school year.  The project will consist of a PowerPoint presentation, essays and oral presentations that address the past, present, and future of their country, along with the political relationship that their country has with United States. [C2]


As the various activities to elevate all the language skills are introduced, strategies on how to attack and complete them will be discussed, disseminated and developed in small groups.



The students will be tested on their summer reading of Ana María Matute [C4] and their self-directed study of the grammar in chapters 1-3 of Una vez más   (En contacto, 1-4) and  of verbs in all tenses of the indicative mood.


The theme of the undocumented immigrants will be introduced from chapter 3 of   En contacto.  During the course of the school year we will track current news items about undocumented immigrants from both the U.S. media and the media of the Spanish-speaking world. [C3]


During the third week of  quarter 1,  students in groups of  two will discuss informal topics and  begin corresponding with  students in classes in Madrid or Barcelona that the teacher has previously arranged through ePals.  Time will be scheduled bi-weekly for students to share the contents of their responses.  [C6, C8]


Near the end of the quarter we will review the film El Norte during three to four class periods.  There will be a question sheet for each viewing and a discussion period.  After the film, we will have a classroom debate on undocumented immigrants.  An oral test will be the assessment on the film. [C3]


Each chapter of the main text, En contacto, gramática en acción,   will have a focus of grammar.  The companion text, En contacto, lecturas intermedias, will introduce authentic writing from all or most of the Spanish speaking countries. [C4]


For every chapter of grammar that we complete in En contacto, we will also complete the exercises in Una vez más [C4],  which correspond to that point of grammar.  We will use the chapter in Triángulo [C3, C4] to further expand the vocabulary of the students.


 Video from “Univisión,” “Telemundo,” and “Radio Televisión Española” programming will be used for topics of conversation and aural comprehension. [C3]


 The information taught per quarter is divided into 4 basic skills of language acquisition: listening, speaking, reading and writing.  This is done to facilitate the division and distribution of material.  These 4 skills are not taught in isolation, but are integrated into the daily class activities.


Content and/or Skills Taught

The first days of the class will consist of students sharing, in brief oral presentations in Spanish, what each did over the summer.  Short written exercises based on the summer activities will be completed.  In the language lab. the students will listen to the “Presentación del tema” from En contacto, for listening comprehension.


On day 4 of classes, the students will be tested on the summer reading.  The assessment will evaluate the students’ comprehension of the short story along with serving as a baseline for the students abilities in formal writing.


On day 8 of classes, the students will be tested on their self-directed study of grammar from chapters 1 through 3 of  Una vez más  (En contacto: gramática en acción, 1-4).


For the remainder of the quarter, consisting of about 7 weeks, we will complete the following:



Weekly review quizzes on verbs and selected grammatical points will be given.  Students will correct their own quizzes.


Grammar will be studied from chapters, 5,6,7 of  En contacto: gramática en acción  and the corresponding chapters  of  Una vez más.  Formal grammar assessments will be based on the Una vez más book.


Vocabulary will come from chapters 1,2,3, and 4 of  Triángulo




3-4 audio stories/articles from the course texts, readers or AP Spanish book.  Initially, the students will be permitted to hear the recordings 2-3 times, but as the year progresses the amount of times for listening will be decreased.  By quarter 3, the students will be permitted to listened to the audio portions only once.   Assessment for listening will be through, multiple-choice questions, written outlines and written summaries.  For the first quarter we will focus on the short dialogues and short narratives in the AP Spanish book.  We will also complete many of the listening activities in chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 of  Triángulo. [C7]



Students will have time in the language lab to record themselves reading a selected passage in Spanish.  They will listened to their own recording and do a self-assessment.  The teacher will listen to the recording and make suggestions to improve pronunciation and articulation.  The recording for this assessment will be done per the requirements of the AP test, to familiarize students with that procedure. [C5]


Informal speaking will take place in the classroom 2-3 times per week as students address the class or talk in small groups about prepared themes, school events both local and global. [C5]


From both Triángulo and the AP Spanish book, the students will become familiar with and will participate in the directed conversations in which they are given a scenario and hear a line of dialogue.  They will have twenty seconds to respond.  Initially they will be given more time to prepare their responses.  Before doing the exercise, to prepare the students we will discuss and practice strategies.  At least one assessment for the quarterly grade will be based on a listening activity of this type. [C5]


We will do some of the more extensive oral presentations from both Triángulo and AP Prep with greater emphasis  in the second,  third and foruth quarters. [C5]



Readings, both literary and journalistic, from En contacto, lecturas intermedias, chapters 5, 6, and 7;  along with readings from chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of   Triángulo.  Reading samples from the AP Spanish book will also be used.  Students’ reading comprehension will be assessed from multiple-choice questions. [C4]



 Students will keep a journal that chronicles the events of their life from the preceding week.  As we cover and review grammatical points, students will be asked to incorporate them into their writing.  This will be assessed as informal writing.  Students will share their writing with classmates who will look for common errors: subject/verb agreement, adjective/ noun  agreement, correct use of the definite article, correct use verb tenses, moods and other focus points. [C2]


Students will be asked to outline and/or produce a more graphic type of web to bring out  the main points of the readings from chapters 5,6, and 7  of En contacto.  From these outlines they will write summaries. [C2]


From Triángulo and AP Spanish the students will complete exercises that consist of filling in the blank of a paragraph using the correct from of the given root word.  They will procede to the more challenging task of having to fill in the blanks without the presence of the root word.  Students will have to fill in their answers based on the context, grammar, and syntax of the sentence within the paragraph or reading.



Students will write short essays  that address the scenarios give in chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Triángulo.  They will complete similar activities from the “Informal Writing” section of the AP Spanish book. [C2]


Students will write longer essays from Triángulo, chapters 1-4  and from the “Formal Writing” section of the AP Prep book.  These writing assignments will demonstrate the students’ability to synthesize information from three different sources.  Two sources will be related themes from different written articles.  The third will be an audio source with the same/ related theme.  The student will be required to take notes on the audio portion; and then, write a formal composition synthesizing the information from the three sources.  For the first quarter, we will do the first two or three activities of formal writing in groups. Students will  hear the audio portion 2-3 times before collaborating on their essay.  We will  compare and critique  the product of each group and evaluate them using the AP rubric. [C2, C7]



During quarter two  each student  will be assigned a Spanish speaking country that will become an on going project for the remainder of the school year.  The student will keep the  class informed on current events and issues in this specific country. A different theme will be assigned prior to each presentation. The major part of the project will be a class presentation that will be a discussion led by the student on the theme of immigration or emigration as it applies to the country on which they are reporting. They will also discuss the political relationship that their assigned country has with the United States of America and what implications the relationship brings to us, as a country. [C7]


We will continue to do a variety of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities, with increasing challenge and difficulty.


In small groups and bi-weekly, students will continue to discuss and  reply, on an informal level, to email from ePals in Spain.  [C6, C8]


 At the end of the quarter we will view the film “Azúcar Amarga”. [C3] Our debate for the quarter will be,  “Should the U.S. reestablish political relations with Cuba, while Castro is yet alive?” [C7]



We will complete chapters  8, 9, and 10 of  En contacto.  We will also complete the corresponding chapters of  Una vez más  Formal grammar assessment will be based on the  Una vez más  book. 


Weekly quizzes that the students will self-correct will be given on verbs and points of grammar. Some will be given as multiple-choice tests in the language lab.  


Vocabulary will come from chapters 5, 6 and10 of  Triángulo.  We must skip over to chapter 10 at this point because a portion of the vocabulary concerns politics, government and current issues.  Students will need this vocabulary as they begin the project for their assigned country. [C4]



We will cover three to four audio stories/passages from the texts and sources that have been cited.


From Triángulo  we will complete as many activities as possible from chapters 5,6,7 and 12.  We will continue with the listening sections from AP Prep, and put greater emphasis on the long dialogues and narratives.  The number of times that the students are permitted to listen to the recordings will be reduced.



We will continue the informal speaking in the classroom 2-3 times a week,   with students speaking in small groups from prepared themes or topics that pertain to the particular chapters on which we are currently in Triángulo. We will continue to discuss school issues as well as local national current events.  [C5, C7]


At least one assessment for quarter 2  will be based on a listening activity from either Triángulo or AP Spanish.


From Triángulo and AP Prep, we will start the activities for formal oral presentations.   As was done with formal writing, we will start the formal speaking, activities in small groups and have the students collaborate on the oral presentations. [C5]



We will continue the literary and journalistic readings from the texts for the course.  In En contacto: Lecturas intermedias,  we will focus on the readings from chapters 8, 9 and 10.  We will select other readings from the AP Prep book.  One assessment for quarter 2 will be based on a reading from Triángulo or AP Prep. [C4]



The students will continue the journal writing.  It is expected the writing contain fewer grammatical errors of agreement, of subject/verb and of nun/adjective.  It is also expected that the writing become more sophisticated as the students include the subjunctive mood in both the past and present tense.  This informal writing affords the student an opportunity to take risks with their writing and attempt more complicated sentence structures.  [C6]


Towards the end of quarter 2, students will start to work on the longer, formal writing activities  from  Triángulo and  AP Prep by themselves.  One of the long, formal writing activities will be used as an assessment in compiling the quarter 2 grade. [C6]



To bring a greater sense of familiarity and comfort to the students both in writing and speaking, the past tense of the subjunctive mood, “if clauses” and the correct sequence of tenses will be emphasized.  [C2]


Students will continue with their studies of the assigned country by writing a composition about an historical figure or event that has a great impact on their country and/or the world.  From their composition they will prepare a brief oral presentation for the class.  The composition will be viewed as a writing assessment and will be graded both for content and grammar. [C7] 


A second oral presentation will be the reporting of a current event in the assigned country.  The article must be obtained from a Spanish language newspaper or Spanish language, online source.  It may not be taken from an English source and afterwards translated to Spanish.  A hard copy of the article must be given to the teacher at the time of the oral presentation. [C2, C7]


We will continue to complete a variety of listening , speaking and writing activities with increasing levels of challenge and difficulty.


We will also continue to discuss and maintain the informal correspondence with our ePals in Spain.  [C6, C8]


At the end of  quarter 3 we will view the film, “Como un relámpago.[C3]”

Debate for the quarter will be, “Is the protagonist of the film a good role model for his son?” [C7]



For grammar we will complete chapters 11 and 12 of En contacto and the corresponding chapters of Una vez más.  Assessment for grammar will continue to be taken from Una vez más.  [C4]


For vocabulary, we will complete chapters 7, 8 and 9 of  Triángulo. 



We will continue selected listening excercises from Triángulo and  AP Prep, placing greater emphasis on the “Audios extendidos”  in Triángulo and on the “Long Narratives”  in  AP Prep. [C4,C7]


While viewing taped segments from  “Univisión,” “Telemundo,” and “Radio Televisión Española,”   students will take notes,  and afterwards,  write a paragraph about the segment.  Students will compare their paragraphs with others and evaluate the content. [C4, C7]



Informal speaking will continue in groups as themes are assigned that reflect the vocabulary being studied from Triángulo. [C5]


Students will now do the extended, formal, speaking activities from Triángulo and AP Prep on their own.  One of these activities will be recorded, as it will be during the AP test.  It will be used as an assessment for the quarter 3 grade and graded using the AP rubric. [C4, C7]


Students will do an oral presentation, based on a current event article from their assigned country and debate the topic which already has been mentioned.



Students will continue doing the literary and journalistic readings for comprehension in Triángulo and AP Spanish. [C4]


As a reading assessment for quarter 3, one reading from Lecturas Avanzadas will be given to the students, without advance notice, and without a vocabulary list.  They will be tested in written form on their comprehension of  the story and on correctness of grammar. [C4, C2]



The weekly journals will continue. The last five entries for this quarter will be used to assess grammatical correctness in informal writing.  [C6]


The brief and longer essays in Triángulo 7, 8, and 9 which are based on multiple sources will be assigned to improve the students’ skill in synthesizing information in writing.   We will also continue to complete the formal and informal writing activities in the AP Spanish book.



We will conclude the AP Spanish class studies by practicing, as much as possible, for all parts of the exam.



No new chapters of grammar or vocabulary will be started.



As the date for the AP Spanish Language exam approaches, we will continue to review and recycle grammar and vocabulary through exercises in Triángulo and AP Prep, in listening, speaking, reading and writing.  The assessments will form a parte of the fourth quarter grade, along with the final exam.


The final exam will be to report to the class about the contempory music from their assigned country. [C3]


We will view the last film, “Verónico, una deuda interna.”  This will be followed by a discussion [C3]


The last debate for quarter 4 will be, “Was the Falklands War of 1982 justified?”