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Spanish IV AP

Spanish IV AP

Course Overview

The AP Spanish language course is equivalent to a third year college course in Advanced Spanish language skills.  This course is conducted almost exclusively in Spanish using authentic materials from the Spanish-speaking world such as short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, audio and video from a variety of websites, short films and excerpts from feature films and documentaries.  Students will learn to analyze a wide diversity of authentic materials drawn from many different countries.   Students develop their writing, listening, reading and speaking skills across the three communicative modes; Interpersonal (interactive communication), Interpretive (receptive communication), and Presentational (productive communication). Over the course of the year students will sharpen their language skills as they:

·         express themselves in Spanish on a wide variety of topics by presenting, discussing, inquiring, and describing with accuracy and fluency.

·         demonstrate understanding of authentic dialogues, lectures, newscasts, oral presentations, and other authentic sources of spoken Spanish.

·         analyze viewpoints from multiple authentic sources in order to create their own original response

·         write formal and informal compositions in a wide variety of formats with appropriate grammatical structure, expanded use of vocabulary and proper register to distinguish between audiences.

·         become familiar with regional variations in the Spanish language and the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries


Course materials

The following texts are used as core materials and grammar reference.

·         Temas (Boston, MA: Vista Higher Learning, Inc., 2014)

·         Abriendo Paso: Gramática (Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., 2012)

·         Abriendo Paso: Lectura (Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., 2012)

·         Triángulo Aprobado (Sandwich, MA: Wayside Publishing, 2013)

Units of Study

            Each unit of study corresponds with one of the 6 themes of the Spanish AP Language and Culture exam: Families and Communities, Science and Technology, Beauty and Aesthetics, Contemporary Life, Global Challenges, and Personal and Public Identities. Since the AP Spanish themes are so broad, each theme contains 6 subthemes or contexts. Each theme will be studied over 12 class periods (4 – 5 weeks) with each context being covered for 2 class periods. After the study of contexts one and two for each theme, there is a quiz, which counts as a major grade. After the study of contexts three and four, there is a second quiz for that theme, which also counts as a major grade. There is a major test at the end of each theme that is given double the weight of the quizzes, so there is a total of 3 assessments per theme. Our study of the 6 themes will finish approximately 2 weeks prior to the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam, which is Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. The test will be administered at EVHS in one of the computer labs. The last 2 weeks before the exam will be devoted to test preparation in the computer lab.

            Each unit of study follows a predictable pattern. The theme is introduced with three essential questions and a brainstorming session that orients discussion.  Substantial vocabulary is presented throughout the unit to develop communicative competence in the four language skills.  The vocabulary comes from the texts and audio files used in class; all vocabulary is thoroughly contextualized.  Throughout each unit of study special emphasis is given to recognize distinct cultural perspectives of Spanish-speaking peoples. 


Chronological list of units of study

Time Frame

Theme & Essential Questions

Subthemes or Contexts

Aug 27-Sept 29

(12 classes)

1. Families & Communities

Essential Questions:

1) How does one define family in different societies?

2) How do individuals contribute to the well-being of communities?

3) What are the differences in the roles that communities and families assume in the different societies of the world?

Context 1: Educational Communities

Context 2: Social Networks

Context 3: Human Geography

Context 4: Traditions and Values

Context 5: Global Citizenship

Context 6: Structure of the Family

Oct 1-Nov 3 (12 days)

2. Science & Technology

Essential Questions:

1) What is the impact of scientific and technological development in our lives?

2) What factors have driven the development and innovation in science and technology?

3) What role do ethics play in scientific advancements?

Context 1: Technology, Individual and Society

Context 2: Healthcare and Medicine

Context 3: Science and Ethics

Context 4: Natural Phenomena

Context 5: Access to Technology

Context 6: Technological Innovations

Nov 5-Dec 10

(12 days)

3. Beauty & Aesthetics

Essential Questions:

1) How are perceptions of beauty and creativity established?

2) How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?

3) How do the arts challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?

Context 1: Definitions of Beauty

Context 2: Fashion and Design

Context 3: Language and Literature

Context 4:Visual and Performing Arts

Context 5: Architecture

Context 6: Definitions of Creativity

Jan 5-Feb 5

(12 days)

4. Contemporary Life

Essential Questions:

1) How do individuals and societies define their own quality of life?

2) How do a people’s cultural products, practices, and perspectives influence contemporary life?

3) What are the challenges of contemporary life?

Context 1: Education and Professional Careers

Context 2: Entertainment and Relaxation

Context 3: Travel and Pastimes

Context 4: Personal Relationships

Context 5: Lifestyles

Context 6: Traditions and Social Values

Feb 9-Mar 12

(12 days)

5. Global Challenges

Essential Questions:

1) What social, political, and environmental challenges do global societies face?

2) What are the origins of those challenges?

3) What are some possible solutions to these challenges?

Context 1: Economic Issues

Context 2: Environmental Issues

Context 3: Population and Demographics

Context 4: Social Well-Being

Context 5: Philosophical Thought and Religion

Context 6: Social Consciousness

Mar 23-Apr 23

(12 days)

6. Personal & Public Identities

Essential Questions:

1) How does one express different aspects of his identity in different situations?

2) How do language and culture influence a person’s identity?

3) How does a person’s identity develop over time?

Context 1: Alienation and Assimilation

Context 2: Self-Esteem

Context 3: National Identity and Ethnic Identity

Context 4: Personal Interests

Context 5: Personal Beliefs

Context 6: Heroes and Historical Characters