AP doesn’t have to stand for Apathetic Pupils.
There’s no denying it—advanced placement Spanish is challenging.
After all, it’s designed to be just that.
Teaching students who are preparing for the advanced placement Spanish exam can be a challenge in and of itself.
This is because the material is more challenging than in other Spanish courses, you’ve got a stress-inducing exam looming—and students may not understand why taking AP Spanish is worth the additional effort.
Why bother with advanced placement Spanish? Why should I work harder when so many of my friends don’t care? Why should I stay home and study when others are out at the movies?
These are some pertinent questions that your students will likely ask, and rightfully so!
How can you field their questions and provide them with proper guidance?
Tips for Teaching AP Spanish Successfully
One way to motivate students to keep up with their more rigorous studies is to be educated on the answers to their questions regarding the AP exam.
- An ideal place to start in your quest for AP-related knowledge is CollegeBoard’s AP Central site on AP Spanish Language and Culture. On this site, you’ll find all the information you could ever wish to know about AP Spanish, from details about the test to practice exams.
- The Wikipedia page on the Advanced Placement program is fairy informative as well regarding all things AP.
One of the greatest motivational factors driving students to opt into such classes is that, should they do well enough on the AP exam, they’ll receive college credit before even attending the university of their choosing. Don’t let students forget to think ahead!
Remind your students: their friends who are taking it easy in high school may end up having to take extra semesters of Spanish in college to fulfill language requirements, while your AP students will be able to focus on other pursuits or advance farther and faster towards their long-term Spanish goals.
Señora B’s sensational blog doles out useful advice for those teaching AP Spanish for the first time. It’s a one-stop, extremely helpful place for AP teachers to learn the tricks of the trade.
Another way to keep your students as interested as possible in AP Spanish class is to keep your lessons as intriguing as possible. Thankfully, there are games, worksheets, handouts, videos and more resources available on the Internet to inject some life into draggy, flat AP lessons.
3 Types of Riveting Resources for AP Spanish Language Practice
1. Practice Worksheets for Class or Homework
Worksheets are a simple and productive way to get your students brushing up on their advanced Spanish skills.
Thank goodness for Peggy Haines, creator of the lifesaving site titled simply AP Resources, as she has provided all AP Spanish teachers with a plethora of resources at their fingertips! The thing that rocks about her page is that it features sound files for listening practice, text files for reading practice and much, much more!
Flashcards may seem old school and run of the mill, but they’ve been around so long because they work. For flashcards and other study materials relating to AP Spanish, head over to FunnelBrain‘s page dedicated to AP goodies to aid in your students’ studies.
Actually seeing graphs, images and other elements that have appeared on previous AP exams would be fabulous, wouldn’t it? Good thing there’s a Pinterest page specifically dedicated to graphs and tables for AP Spanish (shout out to Pinterest user Wendy Brownell for assembling these)! Print these out and hand them out to your students or assign a time to head to the computer lab and have a look together.
Lesson Planet costs money to become a full member and view the lesson plans in their entirety. However, you can sign up for a free trial to check out lesson plan after lesson plan specifically dedicated to AP Spanish. So, try it out! The resources are top-notch, and once you join you’ll have a huge diversity of general Spanish teaching resources open to you, so you may well decide that the investment is worth it in the end.
You use it to look for cute cat pictures, celebrity photos and just about any other instance when you need photos—so why not use it for AP Spanish class? A simple Google Images search for “AP Spanish worksheets” yields tons of results for you to use in class.
2. Practice Exams for Class or Homework
Practice makes perfect, and that saying doesn’t only work as advice to children who don’t want to do their piano scales! The more practice exams your AP students complete, the more prepared they’ll be when actual exam day rolls around.
Dedicating class time to prepping them for the big day is essential. Schedule classes where your students will take these practice exams, go over them together and get feedback from you and their peers.
CollegeBoard’s AP Student site is a great place to kick-start your search for practice exams. It’s simple and straightforward whereas some sites can be overwhelming with too many links. The Spanish Language and Culture site lists multiple audio prompts as well as free response questions.
Once your students are ready to tackle more AP Spanish practice questions, direct them to Varsity Tutors. This page is a colorful, easy-to-navigate and well-organized one, with detailed descriptions of the topic of each question. A little graphic showing the detail level also accompanies each question.
AP Central features information about the exam itself. For example, rules and regulations regarding test taking. You and your students should be well-versed in these rules and regs to make sure the exam goes as smoothly as possible. Knowing what to expect will make it easier to focus on the content of the exam itself.
Tsdwlstandards (a homemade Wikispaces page) bursts at the seams with useful information ranging from links to other AP Spanish resources to the most up-to-date info on the upcoming AP exam. The page lists links for the audio, writing and reading portions of the exam, so it’s comprehensive to boot.
If you don’t want to bother sorting through the overwhelming amount of links on other pages, click here for a direct link to a full AP Spanish exam ready to print and distribute to the class.
3. Games and Activities to Practice AP Spanish
Practicing for the AP exam doesn’t always have to be done by completing worksheets and practice tests.
A lot of us have at least a little love for Pinterest! Never used it for class before? Now’s the time to start! There’s actually an AP Spanish Pinterest page (created by a myterious Spanish teacher who only goes by username Señora) with project ideas, worksheets and more for AP Spanish teachers.
For an almost overwhelming amount of links leading to activities for students, AP information for teachers and Spanish lessons online, check out EspañOlé! Not only can AP Spanish teachers benefit from this page, but pre-AP teachers will find particularly great tools, tricks and resource here as well.
Navigating Spanish Fun Online is straightforward, and the website is a one-stop shop with a fantastic and comprehensive overview page explaining what AP Spanish is all about. It also has some complex Spanish texts from college level classes. In class, practice reading comprehension with these texts to ensure your students grasp the meaning and would feel comfortable doing so in their college classes.
Who doesn’t love projects? Okay, a lot of people—but there’s no denying their usefulness in learning about a subject. Using one of the many Spanish sites about language and culture, assign your students a topic and have them make a PowerPoint or other sort of project on the topic. Make sure it’s a site with advanced Spanish, such as this one about Miguel de Cervantes.
Trip to Disneyland Paris, anyone? The Spanish-language site of the official Disney Paris Resort can also be a great foundation for a fun activity. Ask students to navigate the site in Spanish only (of course) and make detailed plans for their Disney vacations.
Web de AP Spanish, a site entirely in Spanish, divides the links into the convenient sections “AP Literatura” and “AP Lengua.” Some links lead to news sites for Spanish-language news companies, and others to advanced Spanish PowerPoints for you to show your students.
For more specific lesson plan ideas, check out Señora B’s blog outlining one of her AP Spanish activities. She’s a seasoned teacher who has used the plan before, so you know it works!
For more fun ways your students can practice at home, tell them about these advanced podcasts to help them amp up their listening skills. Also encourage them to challenge themselves by reading a book entirely in Spanish. Doing so is ideal for AP exam prep!
With the addition of the resources into your lessons, hopefully you can transform any apathetic pupils into attentive ones!
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