Using Authentic Language Tasks in Pre-AP

Thomas Soth
Northwest Guilford High School
Greensboro, NC
Currently teaching Spanish 2,4, AP Language and AP Lit
Have taught all levels
AP Reader
 Goals
 Background
 AP
integrated task information
 How to do this at the 3 and 4 levels
 Audience participation
 Some examples
 Closing thoughts
 The
College Board states that the AP
Spanish Language is intended for students
who wish to
• develop proficiency
• integrate their language skills
• acquire information from authentic materials and
 What
about your non-AP students? What
do you wish for them to develop?
 On
the AP test, students have to
• “identify and summarize the main points and
significant details and make appropriate
inferences and predictions from authentic
written and spoken sources on academic or
cultural topics related to the Spanish speaking
 Examples??
 Students
will write …
 Students will speak about…
2010 AP Test
 Presentation Prompt: ¿Qué impacto tiene
la música en la vida de los jóvenes?
A newspaper article
A digital news article
An online recording
 In
 If speaking…
 Sound similar?
 We
follow the AP Rubric’s 3 categories
1. task completion
2. task development
3. Use of language
 You
do not rewrite the curriculum and you
do not buy new text books.
 You do need to keep the idea of integrating
skills in mind so instead of teaching to each
individual language skill (writing, reading,
listening and reading), we integrate all
skills, every day, into every lesson (to the
best of our ability).
 You do need to develop integrated skill
 Who?
Spanish 4
 When? At the end of the introductory unit
that had the cultural component of
Latinos in The United States.
 La
tarea: Describe o compara lo que estos
hispanoamericanos han contribuido a los
Estados Unidos.
 Fuentes: Short biographies of Carlos
Santana and César Chávez, and an
interview between Cristina and Salma
Hayek (youtube).
 Day
1: Day of unit 1 test review. Provide the
task prompt, a rubric, and the two written
sources to the students.
• Students told they would have two nights to read the
sources and take notes to use for when they would write
the essay in class.
 Day Two: After
the test. The video was shown
in class after a reading of the prompt again.
Student needed to take notes.
 The third day, the students were shown the
video again (3 min. 31 Sec) and then had the
class to write the presentational essay while I
graded their tests.
 We
make a similar rubric to the AP
 Will this work at the Spanish 3 level?
 How do we make these tasks level
• Preparation time?
• Extended writing time?
• The use of notes for presentational speaking
 The AP exam allows students to use the notes and the
sources when they record their presentations.
 Any
unit 
 Most text book series have common unit
themes such as food, education, the
environment, art, etc.
 Let’s look at food.
 Think
about what type of integrated task
would be level appropriate for a unit on
food for either level 3 or level 4.
 Then write down two or more written
sources ideas you could use for that
question and one or more audio source
ideas you could use for that question.
 Or start with your source ideas and come
up with a question.
 Compara
la tortilla mexicana, la arepa
colombiana y la tortilla española
 Sources
• A youtube video called la cocina de Mama that
shows how arepas are made.
• La tortilla de Maíz: riqueza y símbolo de México
(Por Jessica Uribe el 16 de Octubre de 2007 en Gastronomía. )
• La pagina web “La Tortilla Española” that has a short
history and recipe of the tortilla española.
 Explica
en una presentación de tres minutos
los efectos que algunos productos del
mundo nuevo y del viejo tuvieron sobre la
vida en ambos mundos.
 Sources (Integrated throughout the chapter)
Historia del azúcar (Written text from the internet)
Historia del maíz (Written text from the internet)
Historia del tomate (Written text from the internet)
Historia de chocolate (Old Preparing for the
language examination narrative #5 p )
• La historia de la papa (Old Preparing for the
language examination narrative #7, and a written
 Direct
use of source material
 Lack of good introductions
 Lack of good conclusions
 Lack of synthesis of information
 Make
students only use notes from
sources so as to not have word for word
repeats from the sources.
 Have students do one integrated task
essay in class with a partner step by step
with a focus on the introduction and
conclusion and provide good vocabulary
for essays.
 Graphic organizers and outlines to help
students learn to make connections.
 In
your groups, pick a level, then pick a
topic, come up with a prompt and then
list some possible sources you might use.
Think about the content
Most text books at all levels have units that focus
similar materials going from the very concrete to
Examples of this are the family, school life, and
Create a level specific rubric based task
completion, task development, and
language use.
Find sources and create a question by
looking for level specific sources
Let’s look at food
 For
this one, I decided to look first at
sources that were in My textbook
Realidades 2.
 Possible sources in the text book
1. Chapter video about making paella
2. A description about paella (Fondo Cultural)
3. A recipe for tostones and a fondo cultural about
4. A recipe for and a fondo cultural for Arepas
Prompt: Describe y da una opinión sobre
estas tres comidas del mundo hispano.
 Students
have a lower level of fluency so I
came up with a question first
• Compare the 2 different menus and the food you
hear about in the youtube. Also, tell which resautant
you prefer and why, and which restaurant would be
the best for your health and why.
 Sources:
One menu in Spanish from a fish
restaurant, one from a McDonalds and a
youtube video describing the food at a
mexican restaurant (lots of images).
 The
intent of the AP exam, and of all
language instruction, is to authentically
assess a student’s ability to engage in
real-life language-use situations.
 Thus, as language teachers we should be
modeling this teaching authentically but
without abandoning teaching the
language foundations necessary for
 By
integrating skills and through
authentic instruction, we will prepare
students not only for authentic language
exams (small goal), but also for the
practical use of the language in out
current, diverse society (our
overreaching goal).