Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture

    Mrs. Kathy O’Connell

    Course Syllabus


    *Course Description:  The AP course provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes of communication:  Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational, as described in the American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages Performance Guidelines for K-12 learners.  As such, the AP Spanish Language and Culture course has been designed to provide advanced high school students with a rich and rigorous opportunity to study the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world that is approximately equivalent to an upper-intermediate college or university Spanish course.  The AP Spanish Language and Culture course strives to promote both fluency and accuracy in language use and not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication.  In order to best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught in the target language.


    *Course Objectives:  There are six groups of learning objectives identifying what students should know and be able to do across the three modes of communication.


                Spoken Interpersonal Communication

                Written Interpersonal Communication

                Audio, Visual, and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication

                Written and Print Interpretive Communication

                Spoken Presentational Communication

                Written Presentational Communication


    *Overarching Premise:  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 language in real-life settings. (Communities)


    Course Themes:  The AP Spanish Language and Culture courses is structured around six themes:  Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics.


    *Taken from College Board website




    Gatski, Barbara & McMullan, John, Triángulo Aprobado, 5th Edition, Wayside Publishing, 2013


    Díaz, José M., AP Spanish Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2014


    Díaz, José M, Nadel, María F., Abriendo paso Gramática, Pearson Education Inc., 2014


    In addition to the above, a wide variety of authentic resources including audio, audiovisual, literary and non-literary texts will be used in accordance with the AP Spanish Language and Culture Curricular Requirements.


    Grading and Assessment – Students will be evaluated using a variety of activities, assignments, projects, tests, and quizzes designed to prepare them for success in the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam. 


    Grading Policy – all tests, quizzes, writing, speaking, reading, listening assignments and projects will be given equal weight and will be worth a predetermined number of points.  A percentage grade will be given for each marking period grade.


    Homework – Homework assignments are an integral part of this course.  All will be assigned a point value.  Late assignments will not be accepted.  All homework assignments will be posted on my webpage. 


    Participation – A participation grade will be given quarterly.  This will be worth up to 100 points.  Students will be evaluated not just on the quantity, but the quality of their participation.  Arriving on time for class and being prepared when the bell rings are critically important.  Students will be expected to speak only Spanish with the teacher and their classmates. Risk taking is rewarded.   Use of English will result in a one-point deduction each time from the quarterly participation grade.  Unauthorized use of cell phones during class will also result in a loss of points from the participation grade.  Cellphones will be collected at the beginning of class, and will be used only with permission of the teacher. 


    Required Materials:


    Student will be required to purchase the license to the website for Triángulo Aprobado.  This site will be used for vocabulary, listening, and speaking activities and students must have access to it in order to complete these assignments.  The cost per student is $20.  Please send cash or check payable to Methacton School District no later than Friday, September 12. IN THE EVENT THAT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO PAY THIS FEE, PLEASE ASK YOUR CHILD TO SPEAK TO ME BEFORE OR AFTER CLASS, AND ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE MADE FOR YOUR CHILD TO ACCESS THE SITE. 


    The AP test prep book, AP Spanish, Preparing for the AP Spanish Language and Culture Examination will be used later in the school year.  Students will be given the option of purchasing or borrowing this book. 


    Classroom rules:


    Cell phones:  Unauthorized use of cell phones will not be tolerated.  Students will place their cellphones in the designated spot and should NOT have them or any other electronic device out on their desks unless otherwise authorized for use in classroom activities. Repeated infractions will result in confiscation of the electronic device.


    Food and drink:  Students are permitted to have water bottles, but no other food or drink in class, unless there are extenuating circumstances.


    Punctuality:  Students must make every effort to arrive on time – by the time the bell rings – late arrival will negatively impact participation grade as students may not be present for the 60 second news update that will begin every class.


    Bathroom privileges – Students must be judicious in their use of the bathroom.  Please limit bathroom visits as absence from class limits ability to participate. 


    Academic Dishonesty:  Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated.  THIS INCLUDES THE USE OF INTERNET TRANSLATORS FOR ALL ASSIGNMENTS.  Students suspected of using Internet translators on an assignment will have to do the assignment over after school in the presence of the teacher.  Repeated infractions will result in a grade of zero for the assignment.


    Film Viewing: 


    As part of the course requirements, students will watch various video clips and full-length films in Spanish.  As foreign films are not rated, parental permission is required for the viewing of these films.  Among the films that may be shown are Al otro lado, El viaje de Carol and También la lluvia.  Feel free to research the content of these films online.  All feature some inappropriate language and violence.  The films will be shown without English subtitles.  I will take great care in assuring that students are not exposed to age-inappropriate material.


    Please initial below your permission for your child to watch foreign films in class. 


    ________ I do give my permission for my son/daughter to watch unrated videoclips and foreign films.


    ________ I do not give my permission for my son/daughter to watch unrated videoclips and foreign films.  I request that an alternative assignment be given.



    I am truly looking forward to teaching the AP course this year!  I have two classes of wonderful students, and I have every expectation that they will succeed in improving their Spanish communications skills, and be successful on the AP exam.   Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions or concerns.


    I have read and understood the above.



    ____________________________________                        ___________________________

    Parent’s signature                                                                    Student’s signature


    ____________________________________                        ___________________________

    Printed name of parent                                                                        Printed name of student








Last Modified on September 2, 2014