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Text Box: AP Spanish Syllabus





Course Overview 

The Advanced Placement Spanish Language class will be conducted in Spanish.  Students will develop all four language skills- reading, writing, listening and speaking- while studying a variety of topics based primarily on the units from the text, Perspectivas, Temas de hoy y de siempre, sexta edición.  Students will complete readings and written assignments nightly, and will be active participants in all class activities and discussions.  Students will complete at least one major written project and write one formal essay in class during each unit, and will also make at least one formal oral presentation during each unit.   Students will also view several short videos relating to the topics to help develop listening skills. Additionally, students will be required to complete weekly writing, reading and listening assignments outside of class.


Course Objective 

Students will develop their language skills, increase their vocabulary, improve their structural accuracy and master complex structures in such a way that they can achieve success on the AP exam given in May.


Course Materials



Díaz, José M.  Listening Comprehension Skills for Intermediate and Advanced Students.  Longman Publishing Company, 1995.

Díaz, José M.; Leicher-Prieto, Margarita; Nissenberg, Gilda.  AP* Spanish: Preparing for the Language Examination (Third Edition). Pearson Education, Inc/ Pearson Prentice Hall,  2007.

Kiddle, Mary Ellen; Wegmann, Brenda.  Perspectivas (Sexta edición):  Temas de hoy y de siempre.  Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1998.

Levy, Stephen L.  Español Esencial 3: Fundamentals of Spanish.  AMSCO School Publications.  2004.


Supplemental Books (Used regularly):


Jarvis, Lebredo, Mena-Ayllón.  Aventuras literarias: fifth edition. Houghton Mifflin, 1999.  (With tape program for listening)


Rooks, George; Scholberg, Diana; Scholberg, Kenneth.   Conversar sin parar.    Newbury House Publishers, 1982.


Video Program* (to accompany Perspectivas):  Videomundo.  Thomson Learning. 


*(The video program has an accompanying “Viewer’s Manual” [Heinle & Heinle, Thomson Learning.  2002].  There are vocabulary building activities, listening comprehension activities and topics for discussion and compositions for each segment.


 Audio Programs:  To accompany Listening Comprehension Skills (Díaz)  and Preparing for the Language Examination (Díaz).


Internet Resources:            



(Teacher website for grammar review)

Verb practice

Various teacher activities @

Grammar, pronunciation and verb review:

Links to some of everything:



Directed response questions:



BBC News (Audio & Video):


Radio Naciones Unidas:



La nación:

Index-Spanish Newspapers Online:

El mundo:



Spanish Language magazines:  Selecciones del Reader’s Digest, Authentik en español (with listening program)



Skill Development (Prior to test preparation)


As the students’ skills develop, they will incorporate more complex structures and vocabularies.


During discussions, students will be encouraged and expected to use “Useful Expressions for Informal Speaking” (Díaz:  Preparing for The Language Examination Appendix E).


  1. Students will speak Spanish while in class.  An atmosphere of immersion is expected at this level, and students’ participation grades will reflect quantity as well as quality of performance. 
  2. Students will participate in class activities: circumlocution, interviews, information gaps, dialogues, etc.;  and discussions: asking and answering questions, presenting information and opinions, defending opinions, debates, etc.
  3. Students will use prompts from Conversar sin parar frequently to conduct class discussions.  These will be used as they fit the content (e.g. “¿A quiénes admitimos?” during unit on immigration, “¿Quién recibe el corazón?” during “Cuestiones éticas”.)
  4. During each unit, students will make formal presentations to the class and will record various oral projects (TV ad, radio announcement, etc.) for assessment.
  5. Each week students will discuss what they have written in their writing journal.
  6. Directed response questions, like those that formerly appeared on the Advanced Placement Examination, will be used as speaking and/or writing prompts in class. 



  1. Students and teacher will use Spanish in class.
  2. Students will listen to audios and videos in class, complete activities, and participate in discussions and/or complete writing activities based on what they hear and see.
  3. Occasionally in class students will use Spanish language songs for listening activities which are then followed up with discussion and/or a writing activity.  (e.g. Ojalá que llueva café by Juan Luis Guerra, ¿Dónde jugarán los niños? by Maná, etc.)
  4. Students will complete assignments from Listening Comprehension Skills (Díaz).  After doing the first two chapters in class, students will complete the thematic chapters of the book independently (This book helps students augment their vocabulary and develop test-taking skills as well as improve listening comprehension skills.)
  5. Students will listen to stories they read in Aventuras literarias.
  6. Independently, students will listen to authentic Spanish language TV or radio for at least 30 minutes per week.  Students will listen to a variety of sources over the course of the year:  news programs, telenovelas, variety shows, drama, talk shows, reality shows, sports, movies, etc.  They will keep a written journal of what they watch/listen to which will include a reflection on the topic.



  1. Students will read nightly for homework in preparation for the following day’s discussions.  In addition to the material in the text, Perspectivas, students will read authentic Spanish language articles from newspapers, magazines or the Internet relating to the current topic, or possibly current events, as springboards for writing and/or speaking activities.
  2. Independently, students will read one authentic Spanish article each week outside of class.  Each week the article will be about a different topic, and, as with the listening, students will keep a journal.  Articles can come from magazines, newspapers or the Internet, as long as they are authentic.  Students will write journals for each article, including a reflection on the topic.
  3. Students will read from Aventuras literarias on a regular basis.
  4. Each chapter in Español esencial 3 has a reading exercise at the end.


Writing Skills:

As students develop their writing skills, they will incorporate “Words Used to Connect Ideas” (Díaz: Preparing for the Language Examination Appendix D).


  1. Students will complete written homework and classwork assignments in Spanish regularly.
  2. Listening and reading journals will be collected and graded weekly.
  3. During each unit, students will create minimally one formal written project and one formal in-class essay, as well as several informal projects as outlined in the text.  As part of overall skill development, as well as AP exam preparation, students will be required to use various authentic written and/or spoken sources for their formal writing projects, and they will be asked provide a works cited list with each project.
  4. On a weekly basis, students will e-mail a journal entry to the teacher.  Each entry will be about a different topic and will be 75+ words long.  Students will incorporate a variety of tenses, moods and vocabularies.  Teacher will return e-mails for corrections, and students will then re-submit.  A log will be kept for each student to help them see personal progress and/or pitfalls.  (The strategies for informal writing found in the Preparing for the Language Examination book on pages 144-145 will be reviewed and then used while completing these weekly writings.)
  5. At least once each week in class students will write a journal entry responding to prompts which, over the course of the year, will require students to write in a variety of styles, using different tenses and moods.


Thematic Units (Content)


Introductory unit:  ¿Quiénes somos?  A brief review of summer homework, bio-poem, personal opinions. 

  • Objective:  Students will  get back into the swing of things with several communicative activities and basic grammar reviews:  interrogatives, number and gender of nouns and uses of articles, and the introduction of the subjunctive in noun clauses.
  • Essay project:  ¿Quién soy yo y cuáles son mis esperanzas y sueños?


For all following units, the objective is: Students will develop the language skills and master the vocabulary and structures necessary to allow them to understand authentic materials about the various topics, and produce structurally correct language projects which are increasingly rich in vocabulary and complex structures. 


Perspectivas Capítulo 1:  La naturaleza (Videomundo segments 6, 9, 10 & 20)


Major Projects: 

  • Students will research problems related to the environment in different Spanish speaking Latin American countries  They will create a Public Service Campaign addressing the issue.   Campaign will include:  poster, brochure/flyer, radio/tv announcement, magazine article and a PowerPoint presentation to a the class, acting as a Latin American Congress for Conservation.
  • Leyendas latinoamericanas:  After reading some leyendas that explain elements of nature, students will create, write and tell their own leyendas.


Perspectivas Capítulo 2:  Cambios sociales (Videomundo segments 2, 8, 12, 18, 19, 21)


Major Projects: 

  • Students will study the history of a Spanish speaking country and make a presentation detailing the major social changes in that country.
  • Students will work cooperatively in small groups to create a campaign to change a social condition including identification, causes, effects and solutions- poster, letter to the editor, TV ad.                                                                        



Perspectivas Capítulo 3:  El hombre y la mujer  (Videomundo segments:  23, 24, 17; movie:  La historia oficial)


Major project:  After researching the role of women in a Spanish-speaking country, students will write a short story or a journal demonstrating what life would be like for a woman (women) in that country.  They will then present the story, using graphics, to the class.       


Perspectivas Capítulo 4:  Cuestiones éticas (Videomundo segments: 17, 20, 24)


Major project:  Students will develop an ad campaign supporting one side of a two-sided topic.  The campaign will include a TV/radio ad, a “letter to the editor” and an appearance on a talk show.  (Students will take turns playing the role of host.)


Perspectivas Capítulo 5:  Arte y fantasía (Videomundo segments: 1-5)


Major project:  Students will prepare for the grand opening of a museum exhibit about their favorite Hispanic artist or artistic style.  Students will create a visual/written display- as if it really were a museum exhibit-  about the artist or style.  Students will also make a one page add announcing the opening of the exhibit, and will create a 30 second radio announcement for the exhibition.                                 



Perspectivas Capítulo 6:  Los hispanos en los Estados Unidos  (Videomundo segments:  11 – 16, movie:  El Norte)


Major project:  Students will assume the role of an immigrant, or the child of one, from a Latin American country.  Then they will prepare an autobiographical short story/journal that demonstrates some of the issues and challenges hispanic immigrants encounter, including why they left their homes.  Then they will give a presentation/speech to the class detailing “their experience”.


¿Quién lo hizo?  «De muerte natural» un misterio


·         Students will read and discuss a mystery,  and write an ending for it.


¿Quién es don Quijote?

·        After reading excerpts from the novel, students will create a modern day character with Quijote’s traits and create a short story introducing him and telling in detail one adventure/mishap.


¿Cómo podemos salvar el mundo?  Un viaje al futuro


  • Students will plan a trip to the future in order to see how and if the world will survive.  Students discuss the problems that face Earth’s survival, discuss the benefits and disadvantages of traveling to the future, design a time machine, make a radio broadcast from the future to the present, meet people from the future, describe how life was in the “past” (which is the present in the future), imagine how life will be in the future, then return to the present and make a presentation to the Congreso Internacional de Viajes al Futuro in which they will describe what the world will be like in 100 years, and they will explain what needs to be done to ensure the earth’s survival.




Over the course of the year, students will complete all chapters in the workbook Español Esencial 3. 


During the year, the following grammatical units will be reviewed/taught in the order presented:


q       Over the summer, students will complete chapters 1-5 (all the simple, indicative tenses), and take corresponding quizzes at

q       Chapter 20:   Negation, Interrogatives, Exclamations

q       Chapter 15:  Nouns and Articles

q       Chapter 14:  Constructions with Infinitives

q       Chapter 10:   The Subjunctive Mood in Noun Clauses

q       Teacher Unit: Subjunctive in Adjective Clauses 

q       Teacher Unit: Subjunctive after Certain Conjunctions

q       Chapter 8:     Ser and Estar; Adjectives Used with Ser and Estar

q       Chapter 16:  Adjectives and Adverbs; Comparisons: Superlatives

q       Chapter 17:  Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns, Possession

q       Chapter 18:  Personal Pronouns

q       Chapter 13:  Commands, Pronouns with commands

q       Chapter 6:     Reflexive Verbs; Commands with Reflexive Verbs

q       Chapter 11:   The Imperfect and Pluperfect Subjunctive, Sequence of Tenses;  Si Clauses (Teaching)

q       Chapter 12:   The Subjunctive with Conjunctions, Adverbial Clauses and Adjectival Clauses

q       Chapter 19:   Relative Pronouns


Exam Preparation


The final unit of the course is strictly exam preparation.  The text for this unit will be the  AP Spanish: Preparation for the Language Exam, Third Edition (Díaz, Leicher-Prieto, Nissenberg, 2007)  and the accompanying audio program.