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Workforce Development & Continuing Education

A P Summer Institute: Spanish Language and Culture

AP Spanish Language Workshop Description
The AP Spanish Language Institute is designed for teachers of all levels of Spanish with emphasis for teachers of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Course. The participants will explore the integration of the three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. The class will be focusing on the new AP® Spanish Language and Culture Exam that went into effect September 2013 structured around the six recommended themes. The participants will learn how to integrate technology while using authentic material to design lessons incorporating language and culture. The workshop leader will provide resources and activities as the participants prepare lessons incorporating the recommended context and overarching essential questions to engage the learners. Participants will have the opportunity to create innovative lesson as well as revamp their current lessons. Time will be allotted for those participants who need to prepare the syllabus for the audit.  Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop computer or I-Pad.

Syllabus for APSI – Spanish Language and Culture

A. Assess needs and background of participants

  • Challenges, needs, fears and expectations

B. Discuss resources and support from College Board

C. The AP Spanish Language and Culture Course

  • College Board Equity Policy
  • Prerequisites for the Course and Vertical Alignment
  • Overarching Premise (5 C’s, Three Modes)
  • Overview of the Course Description
    • Learning Objectives and Achievement Level Descriptions
    • Instructional Design Using Themes, Contexts and Essential Questions
    • Course Audit: curricular requirements
    • Resources for the Course: authentic audio, audiovisual and print documents

D. The AP Exam    -  What has changed and why
Participants will be given the opportunity to:

  • Take parts of the exam as if they were students
  • Analyze sample items (looking for challenging items)
  • Draw conclusions regarding a curriculum aimed at preparing students for the required tasks (thematic units, contexts, essential questions)
  • Draw conclusions regarding formative and summative types of assessment, which will prepare them for the required tasks
  • Brainstorm what authentic resources already in use can be adapted to the new course
  • Brainstorm a possible focus as well as contexts and essential questions for specific known authentic resources
  • Interact and exchange known resources, activities and thematic units.
  • Interact and brainstorm what formative and summative assessments to use with specific thematic units.
  • Become familiar with scoring guidelines for free-response items.
  • Practice applying scoring guidelines for free-response items.

E.  Participants will:

  1. Draft a syllabus that includes prescribed curricular requirements for the new course.
  2. Develop one instructional unit focusing on one of the Six Themes  (Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics).

Each unit will:

  • HAVE Essential Questions
  • Select and develop authentic Materials for the Six Primary Learning Objective areas within the three modes of communication:   

Spoken Interpersonal Communication

  • Written Interpersonal Communication
  • Audio, Visual, and Audiovisual Interpretive Communication
  • Written and Print Interpretive Communication
  • Spoken Presentational Communication
  • Written Presentational Communication
  • Learning Objectives
  • Activities
  • Formative Assessments
  • Summative Assessments

In preparing the unit the participants will be using:

  1. Textbooks and other materials that they currently use
  2. Recently published textbooks that are now available
  3. Authentic materials thatthey have been using, adapting them to the new course

My goal is that in small groups, participants will develop one unit and hopefully all 6 Themes will be developed and shared using drop box or Google Docs.  At the end of the course the participants will have 6 units they will be able to use for their AP Language and Culture Course.

If there are participants who do not teach the AP Language and Culture Course, they will be able to develop a unit they can use with their level.

A letter from the Instructor:
Dear Participants,

I am looking forward to our AP Spanish Language and Culture Advanced Placement Summer Institute this summer. Whether you are an AP teacher or not, or if you are experienced, during the institute you will prepare materials to use in your Pre-AP or AP class.  If you are brand new to the course and you need to submit your syllabus, you will be able to prepare it for submission.

During the institute we will create (or fine-tune) lessons using authentic material that can be shared and applied in our classroom based on the six themes.  We will learn how to integrate technology with the three modes of communication.  We will share materials and strategies to make our classroom engaging and effective.

In addition to using authentic materials, we will also examine several publications that are currently available. I plan to bring a copy of several publications for you to look at.   I will also contact their summer institute representative to ask for free samples.   I have already been told that I will not receive one for each participant.  Therefore, if you have an opportunity to secure your own examination copy in advance, I strongly encourage you to do so.

Here are some of the publishers that offer AP Spanish Language and Culture material:
Wayside Publishing Triángulo Aprobado
Vista Higher Learning    Click links Temas    and  AP Prep Book
Pierson – AP Spanish (new Diaz book)  and  Abriendo paso
EMC - ¡A toda vela!

In addition to any or all of the books mentioned, please bring the textbooks that you are currently using and, if possible, a lap top computer or I-Pad.  

I am looking forward to meeting you.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at

Best Regards,

Rosalba Bellen


Instructor Rosalba Bellen

Rosalba Bellon AP Summer Institute Instructor, Montgomery College, MarylandRosalba Bellen has taught AP Spanish Language at Archmere Academy in Delaware since 1988, and has been an AP Reader for both the spoken and the written responses.
As a College Board consultant since 2000, she has given numerous workshops and institutes. She is constantly reviewing her course curriculum to include authentic material and implementation of the latest technology in foreign language teaching.   In February 2004, The College Board presented her with an award as an outstanding AP Teacher.  In August 2012 she was selected to attend an extensive training sponsored by the College Board to prepare to lead workshops for the new AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam.

Contact Us:
  • Karen Ambrose, Program Director
  • Montgomery College, Workforce Development & Continuing Education
  • 12 South Summit Ave. 4th Floor
  • Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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