The redesigned AP Spanish Language and Culture course stresses the various modes of communication and encourages students to explore culture in engaging thematic contexts. The AP Spanish Language and Culture Course and Exam Description provides clear expectations of what students should demonstrate upon completing the course, across a full range of 21st-century skills.
Revisions at a Glance
- The course aligns with national standards.
Course revisions integrate the instructional standards — Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, Communities — outlined in Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. When communicating, students 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).
- The three modes of communication are emphasized.
Students are encouraged to demonstrate spoken and written proficiency in a variety of situations, employing the Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational modes of communication.
- The various cultures of the Spanish-speaking world are stressed.
The curriculum framework promotes an awareness and appreciation of cultural products, tangible (tools, books, music) and intangible (laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions that underlie both practices and products).
- The curriculum framework incorporates a thematic approach.
Students explore themes that promote a variety of language concepts in interesting, meaningful and engaging contexts.
- Clearly written learning objectives describe the knowledge and skills students should demonstrate for success on the exam.
The learning objectives, described in the AP Spanish Language and Culture Course and Exam Description, form the core of the course and identify the content knowledge and thinking skills students should demonstrate through the course across the three modes of communication.
- Achievement-level descriptions indicate how well students perform.
For each group of learning objectives, achievement-level descriptions indicate expected AP student performance, based on the Intermediate to Pre-Advanced range in the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners. Having insight into student progress enables teachers to tailor curriculum and instruction accordingly.
The AP Course Audit
AP Spanish Language and Culture teachers will need to submit a new syllabus and course audit form based on the current course requirements, and have it authorized through the AP Course Audit. The audit ensures that teachers understand the new course requirements and receive the support they need to create a course syllabus.
To ensure a stress-free process, teachers have the following options for creating a syllabus:
- Option 1: Design and submit a syllabus aligned with the new curricular requirements, guided by resources available through the AP Course Audit.
- Option 2: Adopt and submit one of the Annotated Sample Syllabi for use as an approach to teaching the course.
January 31, 2014 is the deadline for submitting a revised syllabus.
AP Exam Information
In May 2014, students will take the revised AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam, which measures proficiency in the three modes of communication identified in Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century.
The Revised Exam
- Contains multiple-choice and free-response questions and is the same length as the current exam.
- Includes a variety of authentic materials (print and audio) reflecting the linguistic and cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world.
- Requires students to show that they understand contextualized cultural information presented in print and audio resources.
See the AP Spanish Language and Culture Curriculum Framework for a selection of free-response and multiple-choice questions.
AP offers a wide range of professional development options to ensure that teachers have access to the training they need to implement course revisions. These options include face-to-face workshops and AP Summer Institutes, as well as online workshops and events, where participants learn practical ways to design rigorous curriculum and prepare students for success in the redesigned course.
The AP Spanish Language and Culture Teacher Community is an online forum, moderated by fellow educators, where AP teachers can connect with colleagues, share classroom materials, and exchange ideas. Join the community today and begin conversations with peers.
For more on the topics covered above, download FAQs on AP Spanish Language and Culture.
Proposed Action Plan
- Read the AP Spanish Language and Culture Curriculum Framework.
- Watch the video AP Spanish Language and Culture: An Overview of Course Revisions (.mp4), which describes the upcoming changes and explains key aspects of the curriculum framework.
- Become familiar with the AP Course Audit process.
- Plan to participate in professional development to become more familiar with the course changes and receive support in planning.
- Join the AP Spanish Language and Culture Teacher Community and collaborate with peers in planning for the new course.