The AP® Spanish Language and Culture course is a rigorous course taught exclusively in Spanish that requires students to improve their proficiency across the three modes of communication. The course focuses on the integration of authentic resources including online print, audio, and audiovisual resources; as well as traditional print resources that include literature, essays, and magazine and newspaper articles; and also a combination of visual/print resources such as charts, tables, and graphs; all with the goal of providing a diverse learning experience. Students communicate using rich, advanced vocabulary and linguistic structures as they build proficiency in all modes of communication toward the pre-advanced level. Central to communication is the following premise from the Curriculum Framework: 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 target language in real-life settings (Communities).
To support building communicative proficiency, I use the Palabra de honor, adapted from the protocol used at Middlebury College, which requires that students speak the target language exclusively: between them and me and among the students themselves, at all times and for all purposes while in my classroom and beyond.
The course is divided into thematic units which are further based on recommended contexts and guided by essential questions. Corresponding cultural elements are integrated into the study of the units, and activities are directed with those cultural connections in mind. It is assumed that students have previously been exposed to advanced language structures in the courses leading up to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course; however, review of the mechanics is done within the contextual framework of each unit as needed.