Before moving on to the course description below, please take a moment to read the guiding principles of the World Language Department of the BMCHSD.
John F. Reilly
B.A. Boston College
M.A. Spanish, Middlebury College
Textbooks and Materials:
- AP Spanish:Temas (in classroom)
- A well-organized binder for notes and occasional handouts
- Access to my website at home (most materials will be posted to website)
Assessments at the AP level vary in point value due to the nature of the task, difficulty level and the time required for completion.
During a typical quarter, a student can expect the following set of assessments (usually 10):
1. 3 notes (20 pts. each)
2. 1-2 presentations (40 points each)
3. 1-2 essays (100 points each)
4. 1-2 Guided Dialogs (20 pts. each)
5. 2 Listening Multiple-Choice Language Lab Assignments (point value varies according to length)
6. 1-2 Reading Quizzes (point value varies according to length)
7. CLASS PARTICIPATION GRADE: I walk around the class with a clipboard. I have a labeled seating chart of each class. Each week I print out a fresh copy and give (or not) a check per day for a meaningful interaction in the target language. Each check is 2 points and I enter the grade weekly (if a week is only four days, for example, it will be out of eight points). I constantly remind the students of opportunities to earn these daily points - informal conversation at the beginning of class, volunteer to responde to the DO NOW prompt, ask a question in the target language, etc...
The better prepared the student is for class the more confident she/he will be in speaking on a daily basis.
- I have a HW board on this website for each class. However, I call it as "task board" because in my class we are constantly preparing for and completing tasks in the target language. I find this to be a dynamic and fun way to teach a and learn a language. I try to mimic real work tasks as much as possible. To complete these tasks, we need all four language skills to be firing at different times - reading, writing, listening and speaking.
- My HW board exists as support to help my student accomplish the different tasks. For example, if they are to write a reaction letter to a news report (audio), the news report might be posted to the website if I feel they need more time with the material. Or, conversely, I might post the audio ahead of time so that the students come prepared to work with a base knowledge of the material.
- Please consider my course to be more akin to an instrumental music lesson. We are exposed to new material, learn from the masters (authentic materials and fluent/native speakers and writers) and finally we create our own music (language).
- I assess the skills we practice in class. There are no tricks. Sometimes the assessment will be exactly what we did and other times it will be similar.
- Please use the HW board to help sharpen your skills. Practice at home like you would practice the piano.
All assessments are graded on a point system with varying point values based on the assessment. Most assessments are announced on the task board in advance. I will also have the occasional "pop" assessment which are usually used to gauge effort and preparation are not intended to be punitive. These assessment will reflect what we are currently studying but will also rely on concepts and vocabulary studied earlier in the year. Again, like an instrument, we cannot forget what we have already learned!
- Any cheating on a graded assessment will result in a zero for the assignment and the grade will not be dropped.
- Students are expected to visit the AP Spanish AP Central site to explore the site and learn more about the course, view past exam questions, and become more familiar with the AP Spanish Language Course and Exam in general:http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/exam/exam_information/4554.html
- Students are expected to visit sites for authentic oral and visual Spanish texts, using the handout provided.
- Students are required to have a well organized binder for notes, in-class writing assignments and homework. In addition, each student must have access to a high quality Spanish dictionary.
Students will be required to “raise the bar” to challenge themselves to use a higher register of Spanish. They will be expected to study the language regularly and keep up with grammar and structure homework. Students will also write essays, compositions, or informal texts that will be evaluated and assigned a preliminary rubric grade. Once the students correct their errors and return them to me with the original, I will then grade them for credit with a rubric for an actual grade. Students will also practice speaking in a variety of contexts, sometimes digitally recording their voices for teacher review and feedback. I listen to their recordings, and offer substantive comments for improvement of oral communication skills. In addition, each student’s daily speaking in class will be very important since students are expected to communicate in Spanish routinely. They should take risks with the language as they do so, trying to use new structures, verb forms, and vocabulary to build their communication skills. Everything required of the students is to help them to reach the learning goals. The work is challenging, but manageable and rewarding, as students recognize the progress that they are making in Spanish communication and feel pride in their accomplishments.
AP SPANISH LANGUAGE EXAM FORMAT
Section I - Multiple Choice (50% of test value - 95 minutes)
A. Intrepretive Communication: Print Texts (30 Questions)
B. Intrepretive Communication: Print and Audio Texts Combined AND Audio Texts without text (35 Questions)
Section II - Free Response (50% of test value - 85 minutes)
A. Interpersonal Writing: E-mail reply
B. Presentational Writing: Persuasive Essay
C. Interpersonal Speaking: Conversation
D. Presentational Speaking: Cultural Comparison
The student who receives an AP grade of 3, 4, or 5 on the AP Spanish Language Exam has mastered -- to a degree commensurate with the AP grade -- the skills and knowledge required to receive credit for an advanced level (fifth- and sixth-semester or the equivalent)college/university Spanish language course. Furthermore, a student that receives a 3,4 or 5...
- has strong communicative ability in Spanish in interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive modes.
- has a strong command of Spanish linguistic skills (including accuracy and fluency) that support communicative ability.
- comprehends Spanish intended for native speakers in a variety of settings, types of discourse, topics, styles, registers, and broad regional variations.
- produces Spanish comprehensible to native speakers in a variety of settings, types of discourse, topics, and registers.
- acquires information from authentic sources in Spanish.
- is aware of some cultural perspectives of Spanish-speaking peoples.
- identify and summarize the main points and significant details and make appropriate inferences and predictions from a spoken source, such as a broadcast news report or a lecture, on an academic or cultural topic related to the Spanish-speaking world.
- identify and summarize the main points and significant details and predict outcomes from an everyday conversation on a familiar topic, a dialogue from a film or other broadcast media, or an interview on a social or cultural topic related to the Spanish-speaking world.
- identify and summarize main points and important details and make appropriate inferences and predictions from a written text, such as a newspaper or magazine article or a contemporary literary excerpt.
- write a cohesive and coherent analytical or persuasive essay in reaction to a text or on a personal, academic, cultural, or social issue with control of grammar and syntax.
- describe, narrate, and present information and/or persuasive arguments on general topics with grammatical control and good pronunciation in an oral presentation of two or three minutes.
- use information from sources provided to present a synthesis and express an opinion.
- recognize cultural elements implicit in oral and written texts.
- interpret linguistic cues to infer social relationships.
- communicate via formal and informal written correspondence.
- initiate, maintain, and close a conversation on a familiar topic.
- formulate questions to seek clarification or additional information.
- use language that is semantically and grammatically accurate according to a given context.