La palabra del día—students explore a word a day, analyze its meaning, find root words, synonyms and antonyms, and make linguistic comparisons. La noticia del día



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Course Overview

This course follows the guidelines of the College Board® AP Spanish Language and Culture course and provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their proficiency in the modes of communication from the Intermediate to the Pre-Advanced range as defined in the learning objectives in the Curriculum Framework. The three modes of communication (Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational) defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century are foundational to the AP® Spanish Language and Culture course.



The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is conducted exclusively in Spanish.

Central to the course is the overarching principle as stated in the Curriculum Framework:

When communicating, students in the AP Spanish Language and Culture course demonstrate an understanding of the culture(s), incorporate interdisciplinary topics (connections), make comparisons between the native language and the target language and between cultures (comparisons), and use the target language in real-life settings (communities).

Daily/Weekly/Monthly Activities to address Learning Objectives

La palabra del día—students explore a word a day, analyze its meaning, find root words, synonyms and antonyms, and make linguistic comparisons.

La noticia del día—once a week, students take turns giving a short presentation about a relevant news story, summarize it for the class, and ask questions to create opportunities for open-ended discussion.

El diario de las noticias—students keep a journal of the daily news presented in class with new vocabulary and reactions.

La conversación de la semana—at various times during the year, students are responsible for posting a link to a news article, video, or podcast to our class page, and creating a discussion question for all in class to participate in an online discussion.



In each unit, students practice recording a simulated conversation and a cultural comparison. All samples are assessed using the AP scoring guidelines for this assignment. Sometimes the teacher scores the work and other times the students and their classmates score each other. This is an excellent way for students to internalize and understand the scoring guidelines.

Also in each unit, a formal, well-organized, synthesized, analytical or persuasive essay on an appropriate topic in reaction to a text or information is discussed or viewed in class. The essay is evaluated for its content, organization, cultural relevancy, range and appropriateness of vocabulary, and grammatical accuracy. All samples are assessed using the AP scoring guidelines for this assignment. Other writing assignments may include: journal entries, letters, e-mails, poems, abstract writing, creative writing, or writing reactions to articles and lectures through an interactive social network and/ or blog on topics/themes.


Every 2-3 weeks, a new theme is introduced; however, interconnectedness of themes is expected and encouraged. Within the basic theme, students work on all aspects of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational. In lieu of a test for each theme, students are evaluated based on various assignments graded according to the AP World Language and Culture Scoring Guidelines available in the AP Spanish Language and Culture Course and Exam Description. Students will also write responses to the essential questions of each unit as a summative assessment.

Course Planner

The following are a sample of activities throughout the course and may be modified based on students’ interests and current events. They do not describe a linear progression of all activities that are done under each theme. Each unit will start with a literary work as a point of departure and then use additional authentic materials and resources for support in forming an understanding of each theme and sub-themes.



Theme 1: Las familias y las comunidades

Recommended Contexts: Customs and Values, Education Communities, Family Structure, Global Citizenship, Human Geography, Social Networking

Essential Questions

  1. What constitutes a family in different societies?

  2. How do individuals contribute to the well-being of communities?

  3. How do the roles that families and communities assume differ in societies around the world?

Activities in this unit may include:





Print Interpretive Communication

“Al colegio” by Carmen Laforet-point of departure for the unit (Abriendo paso)

Tira cómica “Ser popular en Internet es un valor muy importante” (Abriendo paso)

Letter written by el Teniente Roberto Estévez (Triángulo)



Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

Film: Carol’s Journey

“Consejo educativo amazónico multiétnico” from la Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia (Triángulo)

“Aumenta la diversidad de la estructura familiar cubana” by Yailin Orta Rivera (Triángulo)



Written Interpersonal Communication

Email response to el Sr. Grullón about a survey on the efficacy of teachers (Triángulo)

Email response to “Sondeos Tequestas” about use of social networks (Triángulo)

Spoken Interpersonal Communication

Conversation with Josefina Espín about a family party (Triángulo)

Conversation with María José about Christmas traditions (Vista AP Spanish)

Spoken Presentational Communication

Cultural comparison: ¿Cuál es el papel de la familia en los valores de los jóvenes? (Vista AP Spanish)

Cultural comparison: ¿Qué efecto ha tenido la falta de la tradicional solidaridad familiar en la cultura de tu comunidad? (Triángulo)

Written Presentational Communication

Tema del ensayo: ¿Se debe sancionar la educación en casa como alternativa válida a la educación en los colegios? (Triángulo)



Theme 2: Los desafíos mundiales

Recommended Contexts: Economic Issues, Environmental Issues, Philosophical Thought and Religion, Population and Demographics, Social Welfare, Social Conscience

Essential Questions

1.What environmental, political, and social issues pose challenges to societies throughout the world?

2. What are the origins of those issues?

3. What are possible solutions to those challenges?

Activities in this unit may include:





Print Interpretive Communication

“Rosa” by Angel Balzarino-point of departure for the unit (Rafaela.com)

Lectura: “Sustentabilidad” (Temas)

Letter from Kofi A. Annan (AP Spanish curriculum module: El agua es vida)



Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

Ilustración con audio; del estado del agua en el mundo (Triángulo)

“Vampiros vegetarianos” de Remedios Varo y anuncio de Campofrío de vegetarianos/fiambres (Youtube)

Print and audio: “Los temas del medio ambiente” (Vista AP Spanish)



Written Interpersonal Communication

Email response to Sr. Pedro Pablo about preserving the environment (Triángulo)

Email response to Alicia Fuenmayor about protecting the environment (Vista AP Spanish)

Spoken Interpersonal Communication

Conversation with Malena about an environmental club (Triángulo)

Conversation with Sra. Barbosa about social conscience (Vista AP Spanish)

Spoken Presentational Communication

Cultural comparison: Muchas comunidades en vías de desarrollo viven con una escasez permanente de agua potable. ¿Qué problemas causa esta situación? (Vista AP Spanish)

Informe: investigacion de un tema de medio ambiente (basura, reciclaje, agua potable etc)

Written Presentational Communication

¿Deben los países hacer énfasis en el reciclaje de los deshechos eléctricos para proteger el medio ambiente? (Triángulo)

*possible guest speaker from Aguayuda, a local organization with the following vision: We envision a world where all people have sustainable access to clean water, proper sanitation, and the skills and knowledge necessary to build and maintain healthy, flourishing communities. - See more at: http://www.aguayuda.org/index.php/about-aguayuda/vision/#sthash.dKkTBpzO.dpuf

See more at: http://www.aguayuda.org/index.php/about-aguayuda/vision/#sthash.NJkrkcCY.dpuf



Theme 3: La ciencia y la tecnología

Recommended Contexts: Access to Technology, Effects of Technology on Self and Society, Health Care and Medicine, Innovations, Natural Phenomena, Science and Ethics

Essential Questions

  1. How do developments in science and technology affect our lives?

  2. What factors have driven innovation and discovery in the fields of science and technology?

  3. What role does ethics play in scientific advancement?

Activities in this unit may include:





Print Interpretive Communication

“Nosotros, no.” by José Bernardo Adolph (Abriendo Paso)



Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

Video clip: “Por siempre joven I” (AmericaTeVeCanal41)

“Romero Epazote: Medicina Tradicional Mexicana” from Radio de la UNAM/Radioteca (Triángulo)

“La obesidad infantil” from guiainfantil.com/La obesidad en los niños from parapapas.com (Triángulo)

“A comer quinua una vez por semana” by Diana Plasencia and recording on the virtues of quinua, interview with Alan Bojanic (Vista AP Spanish)

Written Interpersonal Communication

Email response to “Vivir para siempre” by Brendan O’Neill (BBC)

Email response to Renata Burgos about self-diagnosing health problems (Vista AP Spanish)

Spoken Interpersonal Communication

Role-play: debate over tanning beds and/or plastic surgery, after watching video clip “Por siempre joven II” (AmericaTeVeCanal41)

Conversation with Clara about constant use of the computer (Triángulo)

Spoken Presentational Communication

Cultural comparison: ¿Cuáles son las actitudes frente al envejecimiento en tu comunidad” after reading “El temor a envejecer” (Universia)



Written Presentational Communication

Tema del ensayo: ¿Las ventajas de la “medicina virtual” son mayores que las desventajas? (Vista AP Spanish)



Theme 4: La vida contemporánea

Recommended Contexts: Education and careers, Entertainment, Travel and Leisure, Lifestyles, Relationships, Social Customs and Values, Volunteerism

Essential Questions

1.How do societies and individuals define quality of life?

2.How is contemporary life influenced by cultural products, practices and perspectives?

3.What are the challenges of contemporary life?




Print Interpretive Communication

“Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú…” (Abriendo paso)

“Acusan de mentirosa a una Premio Nobel de la Paz” (Clarin.com)

“Aumenta número de jóvenes de EEUU que estudian en Perú y América Latina” (AP Spanish Vista)

“Mira por dónde. Autobiografía razonada” (AP Spanish Vista)

Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

Print and audio material task on estructura familiar (AP Spanish Vista)

Conferencia sobre Remedios Vario de HGM-TV: Maestro Javier Araiza Santibáñez (YouTube)

Written Interpersonal Communication

Email response to Catalina Salazar about the role of parents in kids’ ethical development (Triangulo)

Email response to Geraldine Cifra about reading habits of students (Vista AP Spanish)

Email response to Ismael González about international scholarships (Vista AP Spanish)



Spoken Interpersonal Communication

Conversation with Carmen about traveling (Vista AP Spanish)

Conversation with María José, an exchange student (Vista AP Spanish)

Spoken Presentational Communication

Formal oral presentation: how the family life of Remedios Varo influenced her works

Cultural comparison: ¿Qué gestos, acciones o palabras son manifestaciones de afecto y amistad entre las personas? (Temas)

Written Presentational Communication

Tema del ensayo: ¿Debe mantener la juventud de hoy los valores sociales y las tradiciones de sus antepasados? (Triangulo)





Theme 5: Las identidades personales y públicas

Recommended Contexts: Alienation and Assimilation, Heroes and Historical Figures, National and Ethnic Identities, Personal Beliefs, Personal Interests, Self Image

Essential Questions

  1. How are aspects of identity expressed in various situations?

  2. How do language and culture influence identity?

  3. How does one’s identity develop over time?



Activities in this unit may include:



Print Interpretive Communication

Cajas de carton by Francisco Jiménez

“No queremos inmigrantes” by Anonymous (Abriendo Paso)



Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

Film: Al otro lado

“Inmigrantes en los pueblos: integración total” from Radio Televisión de Castilla y León (Triángulo)

“Mi raza” by José Martí and recording “José Martí, símbolo de Cuba y de América” both on racism (Triángulo)



Written Interpersonal Communication

Email response to Jorge Raimundo about an editorial on immigration (Triángulo)

Email response to Carlos Smith about changing family traditions (Vista AP Spanish)

Spoken Interpersonal Communication

Conversation with Monteserrat about the language and identity of Catalanes (Vista AP Spanish)



Spoken Presentational Communication

Cultural comparison: ¿Qué fusiones de culturas son evidentes en tu comunidad? Describe los nuevos productos culturales que han surgido de este proceso. Complete after reading “Balada de los dos abuelos” by Nicolás Guillén



Written Presentational Communication

Tema del ensayo: ¿Se debe proteger al país de la entrada de los inmigrantes? (Triángulo)



Theme 6: La belleza y la estética

Recommended Contexts: Architecture, Defining beauty, Defining creativity, Fashion and design, Language and literature, Visual and performing arts

Essential Questions

1.How are perceptions of beauty and creativity established?

2.How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?

3.How do the arts both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?




Print Interpretive Communication

Chac Mool by Julio Cortázar

Print text: “Leer, imaginar, mejorar” por Pablo Quintanilla (AP Spanish Vista)

“Curitiba: Primer Mundo tropical” (AP Spanish Vista)

Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

Entrevista with Vicente Aleixandre about creativity (audio) (AP Spanish Vista)

Audio with the son of Botero (Triángulo)

Grabación de Juan Rulfo (lenguaje y literatura) (AP Spanish Vista)

Audio/visual text on architecture (tabla/grabación) (AP Spanish Vista)

Written Interpersonal Communication

Email response to Luciana Estevez about creativity (AP Spanish Vista)

Email response to Editorial Silo about creativity (Triángulo)

Spoken Interpersonal Communication

Conversation with Rosa about a Latin American art museum (AP Spanish Vista)

Conversation with professor Muñoz about architecture (AP Spanish Vista)

Spoken Presentational Communication

¿Cuál es la importancia de los factores culturales en la percepción de la belleza? (Temas)



Print Interpretive Communication

Tema del ensayo: ¿Se debe definir el ideal de belleza femenino por la apariencia y el peso? (Triángulo)



*possible group trip to a museum in Washington, DC

Course materials

General resources taken from among the following:



  1. BBC Radio: Estudio 834: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/programmes/estudio_834/

  2. BBC Mundo: www.bbcmundo.com

  3. Radio Naciones Unidas: http://radio.un.org/es/ and http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/ news/

  4. Radio Televisión Española: www.rtve.es/

  5. Univisión: www.univision.com

  6. TV Azteca: www.tvazteca.com/

  7. UNICEF: www.unicef.org/spanish/videoaudio/video_radio.html

  8. CNN en español: www.cnn.com/espanol

  9. El País (Madrid): www.elpais.es

  10. El Mundo: www.elmundo.es

  11. Veintemundos: www.veintemundos.com/en

  12. BBC News in Spanish: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/news/

  13. People en español: www.peopleenespanol.com/pespanol/

  14. Zambombazo: http://zachary-jones.com/zambombazo

  15. Ver-taal: www.ver-taal.com/

  16. Practica Español: www.practicaespanol.com/

Real Academia Española: www.rae.es

  1. Yahoo Noticias: es.noticias.yahoo.com



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