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AP Spanish Language 2017-2018 2nd SemesterGeorge Megenney

AP (Advanced Placement) Spanish Language is a college level course designed primarily for students who have successfully completed Spanish 3. It is meant to provide students with a learning experience that is the equivalent of a third-year college course in Spanish Language. In this class students will practice their oral, written and reading skills in Spanish on a daily basis. Instruction is conducted entirely in Spanish, and students are expected to conduct all classroom business in Spanish. (Communication with parents, and important school notices, including this syllabus, will be provided in English as needed and necessary.)

The intent of this course is threefold: first to expose highly motivated and dedicated students to advanced levels of Spanish grammar and composition as well as reading selections from a wide variety of sources including, but not limited to, Spanish language newspaper, magazine and internet articles, websites and other authentic materials, short stories, and non-fiction articles. Second, to improve students oral and written skills by practicing and exploring Spanish exclusively every day in class. To this end, students will be expected to take instructions, classroom notes and converse with the instructor and classmates in Spanish. Students will also be expected to learn how to write and organize an essay in Spanish, including the use of quotes and citations for support as well as to give prepared as well as spontaneous oral presentations in Spanish. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the ultimate goal of this course is to prepare students to successfully take and pass the AP Spanish Language examination offered by the College Board during May of 2015.

Successful completion of this special exam gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits in most major universities across the United States. The benefits of taking AP exams during high school are therefore quite notable, the most practical impact being granting of automatic credits toward the completion of a Bachelors of Arts or Science degree as well as potentially saving thousands of dollars in tuition costs. Students who enroll in AP Spanish Language are therefore expected to prepare for and take the AP examination during the spring. Since the exam is a product of the College Board and testing materials are produced by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) it is not a free examination. The fee for taking any AP exam is about $90. Students with financial burdens may apply for fee reductions that are determined by the College Board.

Recommended Texts & Materials

Because AP Spanish Language is a college level course designed and implemented by the instructor responsible for teaching it, there is no specific or single textbook that is mandated to be used. Instead, a variety of materials will be utilized both in and outside of class in order to present students with a challenging learning experience. Grammar and reading comprehension exercises will be provided from the following texts and will ordinarily be used to prepare students for the AP exam in May and will be provided while in class. (The primary textbooks that will be used in class are Abriendo Paso Gramática and Abriendo Paso Lectura, but they will be supplemented by the other texts and sources listed below.)

  • AP Spanish: A Guide for the Langauge Course by José M. Díaz, Margarita Leichner-Prieto and Glenn J. Nadelbach, Longman Publishers. 1989.
  • Encuentros Maravillosos: Gramática a Través de la Literatura by Abby Kanter, Pearson Education, Prentice Hall. 2005.

(This textbook contains several useful reading assignments including fragments from novels such as Como agua para chocolate, and short stories such as El Otro.)

Spanish language films and documentaries will also be presented during the school year. The films are designed to serve as the basis for oral comprehension, oral discussion and written assignments, such as basic comprehension worksheets as well as essay topics to be used for written essay assignments. Films shown in class will occasionally include rated “R” material, in which case permission slips will be sent home for parental notification and permission to participate. (Any scenes deemed inappropriate by the instructor will be edited in class.) Such films may include (but not necessarily be limited to):

  • Fantastic Festivals of the World: Las Fallas de Valencia (Documentary program)
  • Fantastic Festivals of the World: La festival de la Virgen de Urqupiña (Documentary Program)
  • Inspiración
  • Como agua para chocolate
  • Volver
  • Casi, Casi
  • Ladrón que roba ladrón
  • La cosecha

Students may access the College Board website from home or school at for additional information about the Spanish AP Language exam as well as all other AP courses.

Grading & Behavior

Your grades will be based on a point system. Homework assignments, quizzes and tests, and participation in class will all be added together to complete your final grades. Assignments will normally consist of vocabulary and grammar comprehension exercises from the various sources listed above, reading assignments and accompanying short answer questions (both in written and oral forms), essays on various topics presented in class, oral comprehension exercises from pre-recorded sources, oral reports and both in-class and out-of-class projects.

The total number of points you earn will be added together and divided by the total number possible in order to calculate your semester grade. I encourage all my students to do their best to complete all assignments. Effort on your part will be noted and rewarded.

Percentage of total points earned Grade
100% A+
94 – 99% A
90 – 93% A-
87 – 89% B+
84 – 86% B
80 – 83% B-
77 – 79% C+
74 – 76% C
70 – 73% C-
67 – 69% D+
64 – 66% D
60 – 63% D-
59% and below F

Assignments as a Percentage of Total Grade

Element Percentage Description
Routine practice 25% Includes grammar and vocabulary assignments primarily from the textbooks. Taking notes in class when directed, and warm up activities.
Participation 10% Participation includes speaking in Spanish to classmates  during class, asking questions in Spanish and answering them in Spanish. Participation might also include collaboration on in class projects, oral reports and group presentations in front of the class, or participating in learning games.
Essays 25% Essays (or major written assignments) are given periodically for students to practice and improve their formal and informal writing skills.
Assessments 40% This includes all exams and quizzes.

¡Sí se puede! ¡Tenga fe que puedes aprender y mejorar!

Because AP Spanish Language is a college level course I expect ALL students to be on their best behavior. All EHS disciplinary rules and procedures will be followed.

Required Materials

  • Pencils, pens, erasers
  • Spiral notebook or binder with paper
  • Textbooks
  • An open mind

Sr. Megenney’s AP Spanish Language Class Rules

  1. Do be on time to class and ready for the daily warm up or other activities when the bell rings. EHS tardy policies will be enforced. (See your student handbook for the specifics.)
  2. Bring an open mind as well as your textbooks and school supplies (pencils, pens, notebook with lined paper, erasers, covered textbook, etc.) on a daily basis. Coming to class unprepared will result in the unfortunate loss of some points.
  3. Do participate in all class activities and do your best to stay on task. This includes quietly listening to the daily bulletin for important announcements.
  4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is more than an R&B song. Do show respect to others, and they should show you respect in turn.
  5. It’s amazing what you can learn when you LISTEN. When you hear me say “Damas and caballeros” it’s time to quiet down and listen for instructions or information.
  6. I don’t like them. However they do like your crumbs. Please avoid dropping crumbs and leaving trash (snack bags, wrappers, etc.) on the floor of my classroom by placing waste in the garbage cans where trash it belongs. If you are untidy and I have to pick up after you then snacks won’t be permitted in class and this J will turn into this L (I approve of desayuno before class, at home or in the cafetería rather than on your desk.)
  7. All backpacks, purses, bags, etc. must be placed under your seat or on the floor next to your desk. This should help to prevent unnecessary consultation of pesky text messages or updates on mobile devices during class. (Trust me, they’ll still be there when the bell rings. OMG, LOL.)
  8. Use the restroom before class, when you have the time to do so. Asking to use the restroom when you walk into first period is generally not the smartest thing to do. I would advise against it.

A note on bathroom/locker privileges… students will be permitted to use the bathrooms when necessary and doing so will be treated as a privilege. This means that as long as you use your privilege wisely it will not be curtailed. Abuse of restroom privileges will result in loss of participation points. Abuse of the hall/restroom pass includes, but may not be limited to:

  1. Taking more than 5-7 minutes to use the restroom. (Unless it’s an emergency, in which case communicate to avoid misunderstandings.)
  2. Asking for the restroom pass every day is inappropriate, unless a medical condition is involved.
  3. Asking for a restroom pass during inappropriate times (like in the middle of a lesson, unless it’s an absolute emergency).
  4. Using the restroom pass to make a cell phone call, text, visit with friends or wander the halls because you do not want to be in class.

Class work and homework assignments are an important way of practicing your Spanish, so you should make an effort to complete all assignments. Test questions will often come from class and homework assignments. (Hint, hint…)

  • Quizzes (both with and without warning, oral and written) will be given in order to check for understanding and in order to review new vocabulary, sentence writing, verb conjugations and translations.
  • Activities, projects and special assignments will be given throughout the school year in order to enhance classroom learning and provide students with a well-rounded experience. Students are expected to participate and when appropriate work with other students to complete assigned tasks.
  • If you miss a day of class make-up work will be made available to you so long as the absence has been properly excused by the main office. However, you have a time limit for make-ups. EHS policy states that you have as many days as the number of days absent to make up missed work.
  • The final exam will cover all the material presented in class during a semester. Please note that although the aim of the course is to prepare students for the AP exam in May, students will still be expected to take a course final exam for their class grade.