Ap language and Culture Syllabus Señora García

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AP Language and Culture Syllabus

Señora García

Adapted from College Board

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.

  • Every week, 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.

  • Approximately every three weeks, 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.

  • Writing 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 basis 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.

Course Planner

The focus in this course is to refine students’ abilities to use interpersonal, presentational and interpretive modes of communication.

Each theme will include the following:

Introduction to the theme:

As an introduction to the topic, students respond in written form to questions in their journal for the week. After having read the journal entries, the teacher selects one as an example to share with the class. This forms the basis for an in-class discussion based on the journal entry.

Vocabulary and Grammar

  • Grammatical points are reviewed and practiced weekly based on areas of need from student production.

  • Students will work with a list of vocabulary words relative to the topic/theme. They discuss the meaning of the words, ask questions, ask for clarification if needed, and add them to the list. The instructor may add words not mentioned in the activity.

  • Students will use words from the list as they work through the assignments in this unit.

Audio and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

  • With a partner, students discuss the content and share their opinions as to whether they agree or disagree with songs

  • Students view and listen to a variety of cultural videos

  • In a small group, students discuss the content of the video and ask questions that elicit opinions from others in the group.

Here is a sample of sources used:

  • Sample passages from Triángulo Aprovado, TEMAS, released AP Spanish tests, Cumbre and AP Spanish: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination

  • Cortometrajes (short films) and other authentic Spanish films o Podcasts

  • Current events

  • Authentic songs

Written Interpersonal Communication

Students practice writing in both formal and informal contexts. They need maintain a journal, in which they are frequently asked to respond to prompts based on reading or listening. In addition, they are asked to write informally in contexts such as thank you letters, e-mails, notes to peers or teachers, blogs, requests, etc.

Print Interpretive Communication

Students search for authentic articles from Spanish-speaking newspapers. Formative Assessment: Students write a brief summary of the article. Then, in a written presentation, they compare the information in the article with their own community.

Spoken Interpersonal and Presentational Communication

  • In class, each student responds to question in writing. Students are expected to share their responses via oral presentations to small groups.

  • At home, students use GoogleVoice to compare a point of view from the video interviews and their original writing. This work will be scored according to the scoring guidelines for presentational speaking: Cultural Comparison.

The following is a list of some of the speaking activities we do on a regular basis:

  • Situations cards

  • 2-minute charlas (presentations on a variety of informal and formal themes)

  • Prepared dialogs / conversations based on thematic elements

  • In-class debates

  • In-class skits, both prepared and impromptu

  • Persuasive speeches

  • Cultural or Historical presentations, including a study of art, literature, history, film, etc.

  • Socratic method conversations

  • News programs based on materials read or heard in class

  • Conversation circles based on reading or listening activities

  • Contextual situations to review areas from previous years

Print Interpretive Communication

Students are assigned the stories from a variety of Hispanic writers such as Francisco Jiménez: “Cajas de cartón,” focusing on the essential questions in the unit as a jumping off point for discussion. Students participate in a variety of activities and assessments, both formative and summative, related to the story and its connection to the theme. Examples of activities: directed comprehension questions, illustration of one of the chapters in the book, oral presentation-PPT highlighting one of the chapters.


Thematic Organization

Theme 1: Las identidades personales y públicas

Recommended Contexts: Personal Beliefs, Personal Interests, Self-Image, National and Ethnic Identities Alienation and Assimilation

Essential Questions:

  1. How are aspects of identity expressed in various situations?/¿Cómo se expresan los distintos aspectos de la identidad en diversas situaciones?

  2. How do language and culture influence identity?/¿Cómo influyen la lengua y la cultura en la identidad de una persona?

  3. How does one’s identity develop over time?/ ¿Cómo se desarrolla la identidad de una persona a lo largo del tiempo?

Theme 2: Las familias y las comunidades

Recommended Contexts: Customs and Values, Family Structure, Childhood and Adolescence, Human Geography

Essential Questions:

    1. What constitutes a family in different societies?/¿Cómo se define la familia en distintas sociedades?

    2. How do individuals contribute to the well being of communities?/ ¿Cómo contribuyen los individuos al bienestar de las comunidades?

    3. How do the roles that families and communities assume differ in societies around the world? /¿Cuáles son las diferencias en los papeles que asumen las comunidades y las familias en las diferentes sociedades del mundo?

    4. How does the notion of the “extended family” differ among cultures?/ ¿Cómo varía la noción de “familia extendida” entre culturas?

Theme 3: La vida contemporánea

Recommended Contexts: Education and Careers, Travel and Leisure, Lifestyles

Essential Questions:

    1. How is contemporary life influenced by cultural products, practices, and perspectives? /¿Cómo influyen los productos culturales, las prácticas y las perspectivas en la vida contemporánea?

    2. What are the challenges of contemporary life? /¿Cuáles son los desafíos de la vida contemporánea?

    3. How do societies and individuals define quality of life? ¿Cómo definen las sociedades y los individuos su propia calidad de vida?

Theme 4: Los desafíos mundiales

Recommended Contexts: Economic Issues, Environmental Issues, Health Care and Medicine

Essential Questions:

  1. What environmental, political, and social issues pose challenges to societies throughout the world? / ¿Cuáles son los desafíos sociales, politicos y del medio ambiente que enfrentan las sociedades del mundo?

  2. What are the origins of those issues? /¿Cuáles son los orígenes de esos desafíos?

  3. What are possible solutions to those challenges? / ¿Cuáles son algunas posibles soluciones a esos desafíos?

Theme 5: La ciencia y la tecnología

Recommended Contexts: Access to Technology, Effects of Technology on Self and Society, Science and Ethics

Essential Questions:

  1. How do developments in science and technology affect our lives? /¿Qué impacto tiene el desarollo científico y tecnológico en nuestras vidas?

  2. What factors have driven innovation and discovery in the fields of science and technology? /¿Qué factores han impulsado el desarrollo y la innovación en la ciencia y tecnología?

  3. What role do ethics play in scientific advancement? / ¿Qué papel cumple la ética en los avances científicos?

Theme 6: La belleza y la estética

Recommended Contexts: Defining Beauty, Defining Creativity, Visual and Performing Arts

Essential Questions:

  1. How are perceptions of beauty and creativity established?/¿Cómo se establecen las percepciones de la belleza y la creatividad?

  2. How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?/¿Cómo influyen los ideales de la belleza y la estética en la vida cotidiana?

  3. How do the arts both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?/¿Cómo las artes desafían y reflejan las perspectivas culturales?

Course Resources

  • Poemas y videos:


  • Gráficas y estadísticas:


  • Games:


  • Culture:








  • Audio practice:


  • Temas de AP:


  • Noticias:










  • Diccionario: www.rae.es

AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam

Exam Information

The AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam assesses students’ proficiencies in the Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational modes of communication. The exam is 3 hours long and includes both a 95-minute multiple-choice section and an 85-minute free-response section. The multiple-choice section accounts for half of the student’s exam grade, and the free-response section for the other half.

Section I, the multiple-choice section, primarily assesses Interpretive Communication by asking students to identify main points, significant details, purpose, and intended audience of a variety of texts and to make inferences and predictions based on them. Some questions require students to show understanding of cultural or interdisciplinary information contained in the text. Each selection is accompanied by a preview that provides contextual information.

Section I, Part A, consists of a variety of authentic print materials (e.g., journalistic and literary texts, announcements, advertisements, letters, maps, and tables).

Section I, Part B, consists of a variety of authentic audio materials, including interviews, podcasts, public service announcements, conversations, and brief presentations. This section is divided into two subsections. The first subsection includes audio texts that are paired with print materials; the second consists solely of audio texts. Students will have time to read the preview and skim the questions before listening to the audio. All audio texts will be played twice.

Section II, the free-response section, assesses Interpersonal and Presentational Communication by requiring students to produce written and spoken responses.

In the writing portion, students demonstrate their ability to write in the Interpersonal Mode by reading and replying to an email message. Then, using the Presentational Mode, they write a persuasive essay based on three sources that present different viewpoints on a topic. Students read an article, study a table or graphic, and listen twice to a related audio. Then they have 40 minutes to write an essay in response to a prompt using the information from all three sources to present and defend their own viewpoint. Students have access to the print sources and any notes they may take on the audio during the entire 40-minute writing period.

The speaking portion assesses speaking in the Interpersonal Mode by asking students to respond to questions as part of a simulated conversation. Students are provided a preview of the conversation, including an outline of each exchange. This portion also assesses speaking in the Presentational Mode by requiring students to make a 2-minute p resentation in response to a prompt on a cultural topic. In their presentation, students compare cultural features of their own community to those found in an area of the Spanish-speaking world with which they are familiar. Students are encouraged to cite examples from materials they’ve read, viewed, and listened to, as well as from personal experiences and observations. © 2013 The College Board


Number of Questions

Percent of Final Score


Section I: Multiple Choice

Approx. 95 minutes

Part A

Interpretive Communication: Print Texts

30 questions


Approx. 40 minutes

Part B

Interpretive Communication: Print and Audio Texts (combined)

35 questions

Approx. 55 minutes

Interpretive Communication: Audio Texts

Section II: Free Response

Approx. 85 minutes

Interpersonal Writing: Email Reply

1 prompt


15 minutes

Presentational Writing: Persuasive Essay

1 prompt


Approx. 55 minutes

Interpersonal Speaking: Conversation

5 prompts


20 seconds for each response

Presentational Speaking: Cultural Comparison

1 prompt


2 minutes to respond

© 2013 The College Board.


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