NEW YORK — The College Board's Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) is pleased to announce the results of the redesign of the AP Latin and AP Spanish Literature and Culture programs. These significant changes will take effect in the 2012-13 academic year.
The AP course and exam revisions were developed by committees of experts from the world's finest colleges, universities and secondary schools. One major goal of the course redesign was to shift the instructional emphasis from breadth to depth of coverage in an attempt to help teachers cultivate in students a deep understanding of content and contexts. Another goal was to include clearly articulated learning objectives that will help teachers align their curricula with best practices in college teaching and learning in the 21st century.
"AP continues to be the gold standard in American education and the leading program offering high school students the rigor of college-level course work," said College Board President Gaston Caperton. "These revisions reflect the high standards that educators at the secondary and postsecondary levels have come to expect from AP."
Developments in AP Latin
The revised AP Latin course integrates the two previous courses — one of which focused exclusively on prose, the other on poetry — into a single course that now focuses on the works of Vergil and Caesar. The course requires students to read and translate poetry and prose, analyze literary texts in written argument, and practice sight reading.
The revised course objectives will help teachers set expectations for students in relating Latin texts to Roman historical, cultural and literary contexts. The objectives are organized into broad categories that include reading and comprehension, translation, contextualization, and analysis of texts.
"The newly designed AP Latin syllabus guarantees college and university classics departments that every student who takes AP Latin will have an upper intermediate-level course experience working not just with Latin poetry but also with Latin prose," said Jane Crawford, professor of classics at the University of Virginia, and chair of the AP Latin Development Committee. "These revisions provide students opportunities to develop the full range of skills that are expected of undergraduates who enter advanced author- or genre-based courses in Latin."
The AP Latin program serves approximately 6,500 secondary school students in 1,000 secondary schools each year. Typically, 7 percent of AP Latin students choose to major in classics in college.1
Developments in AP Spanish Literature and Culture
"The revised AP Spanish Literature and Culture course reflects the best thinking in the field," said Sheri Spaine Long, professor of Spanish at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and editor-in-chief of Hispania, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
The prior course reading list of 56 pieces of prose, poetry and drama has been heavily revised and focused to comprise 38 linguistically and thematically challenging readings. These readings represent the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish, from Peninsular Spain, Latin America and the United States. The abbreviated reading list gives teachers the time they need to promote students' depth of understanding and contextual knowledge — as well as to incorporate art and other media into their curriculum.
Course revisions in AP Spanish Literature and Culture will continue to provide students with opportunities to develop proficiency in Spanish across a full range of skills, with emphases on critical reading and analytical writing. In addition, said Long, the revised course "broadens the approach to studying literature by focusing on literature as a vehicle for understanding culture and language through key texts of the Spanish-speaking world. This curriculum revision will lead the field in reframing the teaching of literature in Spanish classes at the secondary and postsecondary levels for years to come. It is exciting to see that the revised AP Spanish Literature and Culture course formally embeds interdisciplinary thinking in Spanish literature courses."
The AP Spanish Literature program serves approximately 17,000 students in 1,600 secondary schools each year. Typically, 4 percent of these students choose to major in Spanish language or literature in college.2
Developments in Other AP Courses and Exams
Revisions to AP French Language and Culture, AP German Language and Culture, and AP World History courses will be implemented in the 2011-12 academic year, as announced previously. Additionally, the College Board recently announced the reinstatement of the AP Italian Language and Culture course and exam for the 2011-12 academic year.
During the next few years, developments will continue in AP courses and exams in history, science and world languages, bringing additional benefits to students, teachers and other members of the AP community. In February 2011, details will be released about the redesign of AP U.S. History and AP Biology.
Comprehensive details about changes to AP history, science and world language courses and exams can be found online at http://advancesinap.collegeboard.org, a website designed specifically to support the AP community with information about these developments.
"The revisions to AP courses and exams reflect the collaboration among some of the world's finest educators to strengthen students' understanding of essential concepts and sharpen their skills as they prepare to move ahead to college and careers," said College Board Vice President Trevor Packer, who is responsible for the leadership of the AP Program.
1 By way of contrast, overall less than 1 percent of college students choose to major in classics.
2 By way of contrast, overall less than 1 percent of college students elect to major in Spanish language or literature.
Source: Rick Morgan and John Klaric, AP Students in College: An Analysis of Five-Year Academic Careers, New York: The College Board, 2007.
About the Advanced Placement Program®
The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through more than 30 college-level courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Each AP teacher's syllabus is evaluated and approved by college faculty from some of the nation's leading institutions, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. AP is accepted by more than 3,800 colleges and universities worldwide for college credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. This includes over 90 percent of four-year institutions in the United States. In 2010, 1.8 million students representing more than 17,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.2 million AP Exams.
About the College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 5,900 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.
For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
Jennifer Topiel, The College Board, 212-713-8052, firstname.lastname@example.org