Course Deep Dive: AP Spanish Language and Culture


Giselle Morales, Senior Editor

AP Spanish Language and Culture is an advanced course that is offered each year for Danbury High School students. Prior to taking this course students are required to have taken four years of Spanish or three years for Spanish speakers. As of now, Mrs. Crisóstomo-Lenz is the only educator that is teaching this course. 

This course covers six essential topics that are accompanied by a series of reading, audio, and writing activities. These topics range from family and communities, contemporary life, personal and public identities, beauty and aesthetics, to science and technology, as well as global challenges. Students will strengthen and improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills as they cover each unit. 

“The content prepares them to deepen the skills learned in previous courses,” said Mrs. Crisóstomo-Lenz. “The class is called AP Spanish Language and Culture, therefore, cultural aspects are a central part. Students must understand and analyze the products, practices, and perspectives of Hispanic culture. The course also prepares them for the AP exam. This exam is mandatory in our school. Therefore, if you take this class, you must take the exam to receive credit.”

Studying for the AP Spanish test is different then what’s expected from other AP courses. This is due to the fact that the test doesn’t require students to actually memorize any of the content they learned. It rather tests them on their comprehension and writing abilities. Mrs. Crisóstomo-Lenz provides various opportunities for students to read and listen to a variety of topics, in order to build their vocabulary and guide them in using comprehension strategies. Students are constantly listening to the language in audio interviews, podcasts, etc. to reinforce their hearing skills.  

The test itself is divided into two sections that have two parts. The first section will test students on their comprehension and listening abilities. It consists of multiple choice questions about the main idea, context, and vocabulary from a reading passage or advertisement. In addition, it also has a second part which is multiple choice again, but it now requires students to listen to a series of audio recordings. Then, the second section tests students on their writing and speaking skills. The first part consists of writing a formal email response and constructing an argumentative essay that answers a given question. The second part requires students to listen to a speaker and have a conversation with them. The test ends with students doing a presentation in which they will compare a latin american country with their community. 

An important factor students should consider before taking the course is their capability of being responsible and determined. Throughout the year students will be preparing for the test with multiple and time consuming assignments. Being exposed to the exam format is a crucial aspect of the course’ first semester. Platforms like College Board and  a virtual textbook  are used to conduct practice tests in order for students to get to the exam with a clear understanding of what is expected from them. Mrs. Crisóstomo-Lenz believes this course is perfect for those students who have liked Spanish class and want to deepen their knowledge of the culture and enrich their language skills.