Ap spanish Language Course Description



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AP Spanish Language

Course Description: Spanish AP Language is an advanced third-year college level course that emphasizes advanced proficiency in the four main language skill areas of reading, speaking, listening and writing. This class will be conducted exclusively in Spanish and students are expected to speak in Spanish at all times. Failure to do so will result in a lower particiaption grade for the semester. There will be ample practice of the aforementioned language skills as well as high-level vocabulary building and intense grammar review. We will discuss in detail cultural topics that include music, art, folklore, history of Spanish-speaking countries, and how culture varies among the Spanish-speaking countries. There will also be a significant focus on Spanish literature. Throughout the course students will be required to express themselves through speaking and writing on topics presented through aural and written media originally created for Spanish speakers.
Program

In our school, admission to AP Spanish is based on successful completion of level 3 Honors, level 4 or level 4 Honors Spanish. A student may also gain admission by taking a placement test and oral interview. All students who take the AP Spanish class will sit for the AP exam. The vast majority of students take the AP class after completing four years of study. Although the level four classes are not designated as pre-AP, it is noteworthy that during the fourth year of study students complete a thorough review of grammar utilizing a text frequently used in AP classes: Abriendo Paso- Gramática. Students also receive an introduction to Spanish literature, mainly short stories and poetry utilizing the texts Encuentros Maravillosos and Graded Spanish Reader. These former texts are also widely used in AP classrooms. Level four students, exactly like their AP counterparts, also present current events/news articles on Fridays as described below. This is designed to increase their confidence in speaking Spanish in public as well as to acquaint them with integrated skill activity although it is not expressly taught as such. Therefore, the vast majority of students entering the AP course have had previous experience with reading authentic literature, skill integration, and they have reviewed all major grammatical topics necessary for advanced proficiency in the language. Finally, level four students study Hispanic culture by region throughout the year utilizing En Español 4 and select topics from the Miraflores cultural readings and activities series as a catalyst for discussion and further research and activity.


Course content, objectives, and assessment:


  • Formal Essays/Writing: One formal essay 200 words in length every two-three weeks. Source material include readings from Abriendo Paso: Lectura, prompts from AP Spanish, and selected authentic material from periodicals and broadcasts. In the first semester most essays are done outside of class and are based primarily on the reading assignments. This is done to provide ample time for the teacher to provide quality feedback on the essays and to give students confidence in their writing. In the second semester the 200 word essays are based on prompts from authentic listening and reading sources and are written in class and timed. Many of the Formal Essays are linked with unit exams on grammar and vocabulary.

  • Informal Speaking: A lab-type exercise in Informal Speaking takes place approximately once per week in the first semester and once per two or three weeks in the second semester. Although lab-type exercise is conducted throughout the year, in the second semester, emphasis is shifted toward Formal Speaking. All informal speaking activities are recorded or downloaded onto the school server into the teacher’s folder. These are later assessed by the teacher, and written feedback is provided to the student. Many of the prompts originate from authentic material sources and the AP Spanish text by José Díaz.

  • Informal Writing: Students will keep a daily journal. Grading will be based on completeness and on signs of increasing improvement over time. A lab-type exercise in Informal Writing takes place at a minimum of once per week in the first semester (usually on Monday for a duration of 10-15 minutes) and once per two or three weeks in the second semester. Although lab-type exercise is conducted throughout the year, in the second semester emphasis is shifted toward Formal Writing. Informal writing will include writing letters emails, messages, dialogues and creative writing. Many of the prompts originate from authentic material sources and the AP Spanish text by José Díaz.

  • Formal Speaking: As with the Informal Speaking, all Formal Speaking activities are recorded or downloaded onto the school server into the teacher’s folder. These are later assessed by the teacher, and written feedback is provided to the student. The prompts originate from periodicals that students read during the activity and authentic audio sources. The sources for these latter prompts are the same as those listed under Wednesday and Friday Integrated activities below.

  • Reading: Students will read a series of unedited short stories and poetry by important authors in the text Abriendo Paso: Lectura. Not included in the text is the short story "El Sur" by Jorge Luis Borges which we will read in the second semester. This is typically a story read at the AP Spanish Literaure level, but we currently do not offer the course. Students will also read periodicals frequently in order to conduct the Friday activity outlined below. Also, during our lab-type skill integration activities students will read authentic material.

  • Listening: Teacher speaks exclusively in Spanish. All lab-type exercise in listening comprehension originates from authentic sources. The list of sources is given below under Wednesday Activity. Some lab exercise in listening will utilize the AP Spanish workbook by José Díaz. As much as possible listening activity will involve subsequent speaking or writing exercise related to the listening passages in order to integrate skills. During mid to late April some listening comprehension exercise will take place in isolation for test taking purposes.

  • Culture: Although daily discussions on culture will take place through the literature readings and current events, we will utilize the Miraflores Level 4 Abrir Paso copy masters as an additional catalyst for discussion and consideration.

  • Quizzes: usually once/week. Quizzes will generally cover recent vocabulary and grammatical topics under study.

  • Major exams: around once every three weeks. These tests will cover grammar and vocabulary as well as assessment of speaking, listening, reading and/or writing proficiency. Topics and source material for the 4 main language skills will be based on readings and material from Abriendo Paso: Lectura, AP Spanish, Spanish 4 years, Abriendo Puertas and current material selected from authentic language sources such as newspapers, radio and television broadcasts. The speaking and writing assessments will be both formal and informal. In all cases these assessments will include a listening and/or reading prompt on which students will base their response.

  • One Former AP Exam for Practice (1st semester): Although the formats of past AP exams no longer reflect the current format, and despite the isolation of language skills in their format, the 2003 tests is administered for purposes of feedback on general ability to perform on a rigorous language exam. It also serves to give the students a feel for the length and rigor of an AP exam. A grade is given based on the past rubrics. This test is conducted in the first semester within the first five weeks of instruction. Once exams including the new format are released, the 2003 exam will no longer be used for this activity.

  • 1st semester project: Students are required to research a particular historical event of a given Spanish-speaking country or an important person in the history or current era of a given country. Students will be required to submit a minimum 3 page double-spaced research paper in Spanish. A bibliography of at least five sources is required. All sources must be Spanish language sources. A maximum of two sources may come from the Internet. Selection of the event or person is made early in the 1st quarter with approval of the instructor. An in-class Power Point presentation is required. This presentation is conducted entirely in Spanish and must have a duration of at least 8 minutes. Following the presentation fellow students write a brief critique of the presentation.

  • 1st Semester Final Exam: An AP style final exam is administered in the first semester using the 2007 format. The test takes three class periods to complete in order to include the speaking and writing sections. Also included on the exam are vocabulary covered in class readings and specific grammatical topics covered in Abriendo Puertas and Spanish 4 Years.

  • Homework: Homework will be assigned daily for review of daily lessons at a minimum of thirty minutes to two hours depending on topics and assignments.

  • Second Semester Project: Seniors at our school complete a senior year project outside of school during the last three weeks of instruction. As the majority of students in AP Spanish are seniors at our school, a major class project is performed in lieu of a second semester final exam. This major project will be presented at the end of the year immediately following the AP Exam in order for seniors to present before departing on their projects. The second semester project theme is music in Spanish speaking countries. Students will be required to submit a minimum 5 page double-spaced research paper in Spanish covering a particular genre and/or artist. A bibliography of at least six sources is required. All sources must be Spanish language sources. A maximum of four sources may come from the Internet. Selection of the artist and genre is made early in the 3rd quarter with approval of the instructor. An in-class Power Point presentation is required. This presentation is conducted entirely in Spanish and must have a duration of 12 minutes. Students are required to submit sample music of the genre or artist in the presentation. The presentation of the sample is not included in the required twelve minutes dedicated to the oral presentation. Following the presentation fellow students write a brief two paragraph critique of the presentation.

  • In-class participation: Participation is evaluated every class period. Participation is defined as a demonstrated effort to use Spanish exclusively at all times, constructive contribution to group activities, a demonstrated effort to complete in-class assignments within the allotted time, note-taking, staying on-task (not socializing), bringing required materials everyday, and maintaining a respectful attitude towards classmates, teacher and subject matter.

***Note: Speaking English or failure to bring class materials will result in a loss of points from the semester participation grade.***
Current Events and Weekly Skill Integration Activities Conducted In-Class

On Wednesday and Friday each week for roughly 20-25 minutes, activities that cover current events and require integration of language skills take place.


Wednesday Activity:

(focus on listening and speaking)


Students will listen to a current events segment via the internet or a via a pre-recorded segment provided by the instructor. The latter will originate from local television broadcasts (our school is in Southern California, and there is a wealth of such broadcasts). Subsequently, students will take notes on what they hear. Students will then share notes and summarize with the class. The teacher will normally provide a follow-up question designed to prompt further discussion of the audio segment. These discussions will include but not be limited to: analysis of the factors or situations leading up to the event in question, students' personal reaction to event which may include a subsequent defense of their perspective, and speculation on the future development of the event if applicable.
Listening Sources (the following list is not exhaustive, but rather includes the sources most frequently used)
Yabla: www.yabla.com

Radio Naciones Unidas: www.un.org/radio/es

BBC: www.bbcmundo.com

KMEX (Los Angeles-Univisión)

KAZA (Los Angeles-AztecaAmerica)

KVEA (Los Angeles-Telemundo)

KFTR (Los Angeles-Telefutura)

Short Films (all cortometrajes from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries and not subtitled) Included in the textbook Revista with accompanying listening, reading, writing and discussion exercises.

Full-length Films (for listening, discussion and writing): “El Sur” and “La Historia Oficial”
Friday Activity

(focus on listening, writing and speaking)


Students will present a current news event they have obtained from a written news source such as newspapers, magazines and the Internet. Each student will present an article at least twice each semester. The following is a general outline of the process:

All articles must be at least five paragraphs in length. A copy of the article must be submitted to the teacher three days prior to the presentation. Any article of shorter length will not be accepted. All articles must have been published within three weeks of the actual student presentation.

Each student will submit a two-paragraph summary of the article. A minimum of twelve sentences must be written. Any summaries of shorter length will receive a failing grade(59% or below). The articles must be written in Word and typed double space.

On the day of presentation, the presenter will write the title of the article on the classroom board and the first sentence of the article. The presenter will also write at least five words or expressions that he or she feels are necessary to comprehend the article. Students will then ask the presenter questions concerning the article in order to extract enough information to re-summarize the story. Students (except for the presenter) will then write a one-paragraph summary (six sentence minimum) of the presented article. As with the Wednesday activity, a prompt will follow the written summary wherein students will write a few sentences concerning the following: an analysis of the factors or situations leading up to the event in question, students' personal reaction to event which may include a subsequent defense of their perspective, and speculation on the future development of the event if applicable.


Source Publications

www.excelsior.com.mx (México)


cnn.com/español (EE.UU)
http://www.diario.com.mx (México)
laopinion.com (Los Angeles, CA)
eldiario.net (Bolivia)
http://www.laprensa.com.ar/ (Argentina)
http://www.laprensa.com.ni/ (Nicaragua)
http://www.prensalibre.com (Guatemala)
http://www.prensalibre.co.cr/ (Costa Rica)
www.nacion.com (Costa Rica)
www.bbcmundo.com
elmundo.es (España)
Texts Abriendo Paso-Lectura

Díaz José M., María Nadel, Stephen J. Collins.

Boston Massachussets: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.
Abriendo Puertas-Gramática

Armen, Judy.

Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell, 2007.
AP Spanish: Preparing for the Language Examination, 3rd Edition.

Díaz José M., Margarita Leicher-Prieto, Gilda Nissenberg.

Boston Massachussets: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.
Spanish 4 Years: Advanced Spanish with AP Component

Hiller, Janet F.

New York, New York: Amsco School Publications, 2001
Revista: Conversación Sin Barreras

Blanco José A., María Isabel García, María Cinta Aparisi

Boston, Massachussets: Vista Higher Learning, 2004.
Abrir Paso Level 4 Copy Masters

Richford, Vermont: Miraflores


Grading The semester grade will come from:
5% class participation

10% homework and in-class assignments (to include news articles and current events)

25% quizzes and short/informal essays

40% tests, formal essays and semester project (first semester)



20% final exam (first semester)/project (second semester)
Course Outline

Sept. 5 - Oct. 27
Gramática: Spanish 4 Years Chapters 1 -7: Review of present, past tenses, preterite v. imperfect, future tense, ser & estar
Video/Lecturas/Conversación: Revista Lección 1
Speaking: Recording of at least four short informal samples. Recording of at least two longer formal samples.
Lecturas: Abriendo Paso "Rosa" y "El Árbol de Oro"
Exams: Two major exams covering grammar, vocabulary and composition from Spanish 4 years; test to also include listening and speaking segments
Quizzes: Quizzes on vocabulary from AP Spanish and Abriendo Paso on a weekly basis; vocabulary quiz after each Revista lesson
Essays: Topics related to culture/literature from Revista; essays related to Abriendo Paso readings; brief writing topics from AP Spanish
Practice AP Exam: 2003 version of the AP Spanish Language Exam (discussion of the format will take place before the actual practice exam)
Current Events: Presentation of at least one article per student per quarter. This activity place every Friday..
Listening: Every Wednesday we will listen to a news broadcast and follow up with discussion.
Daily: Journals will be submitted for review on Oct. 22nd
Culture: From Miraflores Copy Masters: España: Las meninas de Velázquez & Felipe II
Oct. 30-Nov. 22
Gramática: Spanish 4 Years Chapters 8 -12: Review of present, commands, subjunctive (past & present), conditional tense
Video/Lecturas/Conversación: Revista Lección 2
Lecturas: Abriendo Paso "Un Oso y un amor" y "Cajas de cartón"
Exams Two major exams covering grammar, vocabulary and composition from Spanish 4 years; test to also include listening and speaking segments
Quizzes: Quizzes on vocabulary from AP Spanish and Abriendo Paso on a weekly basis; vocabulary quiz after each Revista lesson
Culture: From Miraflores Copy Masters: Chile ¿Maravilla económica o desastre ecológico? & Violeta Parra y la Nueva Canción
Essays: Topics related to culture/literature from Revista; essays related to Abriendo Paso readings; brief writing topics from AP Spanish
Current Events: Presentation of at least one article per student per quarter. This activity place every Friday..
Listening: Every Wednesday we will listen to a news broadcast and follow up with discussion.
Speaking: Recording of at least three short informal samples. Recording of at least one longer formal samples.
Daily: Journals will be submitted for review on Nov. 22nd

Nov. 27-

End of semester
Gramática: Spanish 4 Years Chapters 12-16: Review of pronoun usage, interrogatives, adjectives
Video/Lecturas/Conversación: Revista Lección 3 & “La Historia Oficial” (activities for “La Historia…” includes discussion and essay)
Lecturas: Abriendo Paso "Jaque mate en dos jugadas" y "La continuidad de los parques"
Exams: Two major exams covering grammar, vocabulary and composition from Spanish 4 years; test to also include listening and speaking segments
Quizzes: Quizzes on vocabulary from AP Spanish and Abriendo Paso on a weekly basis; vocabulary quiz after each Revista lesson
Essays: Topics related to culture/literature from Revista; essays related to Abriendo Paso readings; brief writing topics from AP Spanish
Culture: From Miraflores Copy Masters: Uruguay: El galpón y el teatro uruguayo
Current Events: Presentation of at least one article per student per quarter. This activity place every Friday..
Listening: Every Wednesday we will listen to a news broadcast and follow up with discussion.
Speaking: Recording of at least four short informal samples. Recording of at least two longer formal samples.
Presentation of First Semester Project: Jan. 8th-12th
Final exam: AP style format to take place over a 3 day period. Discussion of format will take place prior to the exam. Date of exam: Jan. 19th – 23rd Two day review before exam.
Daily: Journals will be submitted for review one week prior to the final exam.


Second Semester

Jan. 30th- Feb. 28th


Gramática: Abriendo Puertas Chapters 7, 12-16.: Review of preterite v. imperfect, perfect tenses, subjunctive both present, imperfect, present perfect, conditional perfect and pluscuamperfecto del subjuntivo; commands
Video/Lecturas/Conversación: “El Sur” (Jorge Luis Borges) We will read the short story, see the film, and follow up with discussion and a related essay.
Lecturas: Abriendo Paso "El décimo" y "Jacinto Contreras…"
Exams: Two major exams covering grammar, vocabulary, composition from Abriendo Puertas; test to include speaking and listening segements
Quizzes: Quizzes on vocabulary from AP Spanish and Abriendo Paso on a weekly basis
Essays: Essays related to Abriendo Paso readings; essay related to “El Sur” brief writing topics from AP Spanish

Current Events: Presentation of at least one article per student per quarter. This activity place every Friday..
Listening: Every Wednesday we will listen to a news broadcast and follow up with discussion.
Speaking: Recording of at least one short informal sample. Recording of at least three longer formal samples.
Daily: Journals will be submitted for review on Feb. 26th
Culture: From Miraflores Copy Masters: Argentina: Mafalda & Decir Argentina es decir carne
March 1st-

April 13th



Gramática: Abriendo Puertas Capítulos 8-11 Pronouns and adjectives
Video/Lecturas/Conversación: Revista Lección 4
Lecturas: Abriendo Paso "Emma Zunz" y "Cartas de amor traicionado"
Exams: Two major exams covering grammar, vocabulary, composition from Abriendo Puertas; test to include speaking and listening segements
Quizzes: Quizzes on vocabulary from AP Spanish and Abriendo Paso on a weekly basis
Essays: Essays related to Abriendo Paso readings; essay related to “El Sur” brief writing topics from AP Spanish

Current Events: Presentation of at least one article per student per quarter. This activity place every Friday.
Listening: Every Wednesday we will listen to a news broadcast and follow up with discussion.
Speaking: Recording of at least one short informal sample. Recording of at least three longer formal samples.
Daily: Journals will be submitted for review on April 11th

(this will be the last submission)
Culture: From Miraflores Copy Masters: México Sor Juana y la cocina de Nueva España & El Camino de la Plata

April 16th-

May 7th

AP practice: Primary resource for exam practice will be AP Spanish: Preparing for the Language Examination, 3rd Edition

Current Events: Presentation of at least one article per student per quarter. This activity place every Friday.

Listening: Every Wednesday we will listen to a news broadcast and follow up with discussion.
Quizzes: Quizzes on vocabulary from AP Spanish only
Video/Lecturas/Conversación: Revista Lección 5
Culture: From Miraflores Copy Masters: Paraguay Treinta comunidades utópicas: los jesuitas en el Paraguay

May 14th-18th



Second semester projects: In-class presentations of second semester project

May 21st Movies and activities (for juniors who do not participate in the school-wide senior project)


To June 6th


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