AP Spanish Language Course Description

Advanced Placement Spanish Language is a challenging course in which students will be exposed to reading and analyzing important works of various authors in their original Spanish.  Classes will offer speaking practice, require both voice emails and frequent written work utilizing rich language in which the students should be continually integrating idioms and newly acquired lexical items with previously learned material.   Students will be required to produce a project on a famous Spanish artist, musician, or author, present it, and analyze several of his/her works in light of his life and times.  We will use literary analysis for comparing the novels and the other works we will read.  Quizzes and tests will be administered and will serve as excellent preparation for the Spanish AP language test.  Students in my class traditionally receive feedback in a very short time.  The amalgamation of this diverse body of academic work will prepare my students for success on the AP exam in May.

Required Texts:
  • REPASO (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)   ISBN 0-07-846050-6
  • El Coronel no Tiene Quien le Escriba  (Gabriel García Márquez).  Any edition of the original will be fine.
  • Cuentos de Ana Maria Matute. You may find the following stories by Matute on-line or in anthologies.  El Arbol de Oro, Los Chicos, Caminos, La Rama Seca, El Rey, La Conciencia, Los Pájaros, Bernardino  (Some can be found in Historias de Artamila)
  • TEMAS (Vista Higher Learning   https://www.vhlcentral.com/ )   ISBN:978-1-61857-565-4    This text (which includes on line activities) must be purchased through the publisher.

                           Note: Other short stories and/or novelettes may be added in the second semester of this course. They will be supplied free of charge to the student.

Time requirements:  Class will meet once a week (time to be determined by consensus).  Spanish AP students usually devote at least one hour per day to this class.   The course will start right before Labor Day and extend into April, with a week off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Technical Requirements:  Reliable internet, e-mail, and Skype. Your word-processing program should offer accent marks and special punctuation marks peculiar to Spanish writing.

Who can apply: Applicants should be students who have studied at least three years of formal learning in Spanish (though preferably four) and who have superior skills in at least three of the four areas of foreign language learning: understanding, speaking, reading, and writing.  These students should be highly motivated and intellectually curious, be able to do research, and be ready to devote time and their best effort to keep up with the rigors of this course.  Native Spanish speakers are invited to participate, provided that their writing skills are developed.

“Excellent preparation for the AP Exam”

This course does an excellent job of preparing students for the AP Exam. Mr. Leven reviewed all the fundamental concepts of Spanish grammar, using the textbook Repaso, and performed drills in class to make sure we learned them thoroughly. Since I have studied Spanish for a few years, there was not much new material to learn. However, the review helped to solidify areas of study that had previously been somewhat confusing for me, such as the subjunctive mood. Also, Mr. Leven has helped me fine-tune minor errors in grammar through various Spanish writing assignments.

The literature assignments were my favorite part of the class. Mr. Leven chose works from authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, Ana Maria Matute, Isabel Allende and Jorge Luis Borges. The stories not only gave me a better understanding of Spanish literature, but also provided a rich source of advanced vocabulary.

On average, the homework generally took me 5 hours each week. For someone who has previously studied Spanish, the course is not difficult. The emphasis is not on learning new material but rather on perfecting what you have already learned and building our vocabulary, in order to perform well on the AP exam. Although Mr. Leven is always available to help a student with a concept, it is the student’s responsibility to put effort into improvement.

Writing assignments related to the literature assignments prepare students for the reading comprehension sections of the exam. Class presentations based on information from audio and written Spanish sources prepare for the oral and listening parts of the exam. This class provides students plenty of familiarity with hearing, speaking, and writing the Spanish language, which is what the AP exam requires. I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to work hard to perfect their Spanish."

-Aleena Vargas