Tips for teaching AP Spanish for the first time

Five Tips for teaching AP® Spanish

The best advice every new AP® Spanish Language or Literature Teacher should know

Teaching AP® Spanish Language or Literature for the first time? Wondering where do you go from there? Professor Maritza Sloan’s article “5 tips for a new AP Spanish Language or Literature Teacher” is for you!

#1. Make the AP® Spanish language and Culture course and Exam Description (CED) your friend

The first advice I can give you is to familiarize yourself with the Course and Exam Description for the course you are teaching. If you only have a digital CED, you can order a hard copy from the College board Online Store. Familiarize yourself with the course Framework Components.

  • The themes and Unit themes
  • The exam and the format
  • AP® Resources and support
  • Instructional strategies

#2. Become best friends with AP® Classroom and start using it immediately

There are many great resources in this platform that you don’t want your students to miss.  Learn about all the resources incorporated in the AP® classroom and start using it right away for teaching AP® Spanish

  • Assign daily videos according to the task and theme you are teaching.
  • Utilize the University Faculty Lecture videos. There is one per unit.
  • Assign progress checks. I found this tool very helpful to help me see what are tasks that represent challenges.
  • Use the Instructional Planning Reports to see progress of the class.

#3. Relationships Rule: Get to know the students in your classroom

For learning to happen, we teachers need to build a good relationship with our students. Students need to see their identities valued, and they need to feel safe both physically and emotionally in your classroom. Getting to know the students from the very beginning of the year is very important. Let the student tell you their stories, learn about their lives and interest and use that information to bring their interest to activities you do in class.  

  • What interest they have outside class.
  • Greet the students every day and ask them how they are doing. Give them time to respond.  Show them that you care about their day.  Ask them to share something “chiva”, “olor favorito”, “curiosidad”, “sabor preferido” etc…

#4. Join AP® Spanish Language and Culture groups online community on Facebook

Networking with a colleague in your department and school is always great. Not only does it help build relationships with your colleagues, but also makes a stronger department. Nevertheless, there are many groups in social media that are always willing to share material and resources that can be used in a lesson you are teaching. This gives you an opportunity to share your material as well.  The most important reason for joining these platforms is that there is always a teacher that has an answer for a question that you might have.

#5. Hook the students with culture

Make music an important component in your classroom. Play music with the intention that students learn about the song and the message it contains. Teach them about the artist, the geography and important facts about the country where they come from.  Using music in the classroom always encourages the student to look forward to class. If the students have Internet access, T.V. Networks such as Univision have websites with shows in Spanish that you can assign for listening practice that can relate to the AP® themes that you teach.   


We are sure you will love teaching AP® Spanish Language or Literature for the first time!

Are you looking for an AP® Spanish Institute to obtain the training you need to successfully teach AP® Spanish Language or Literature? Then, we invite you to discover Centro MundoLengua’s AP® Spanish workshops. Centro MundoLengua is the only College Board-approved provider offering AP® Spanish Language and AP® Spanish Literature workshops in all of Spain. Click the links below for more information!


About Maritza Sloan:

Maritza is a College Board® AP® consultant for Spanish Language and Culture and Spanish Literature and Culture. She has presented many Spanish Language and Literature workshops and sessions at AATSP, APAC, MFLA, SWCLT, CSCTFL and ACTFL. Maritza served as the Secondary Education member and Co-Chair of the Curriculum Development Committee for AP® Spanish Language and Culture from July 2015 till June 2019. Recently, she has been elected as president of AATSP. She is a Co-Author of EntreCulturas 1, a Spanish text book. In 2012 she was named Texas Foreign Language Teacher of the year.


Centro MundoLengua AP® Spanish Summer Institutes have been endorsed by the College Board®. College Board®, AP®, Advanced Placement®, Advanced Placement Program®, AP® Vertical Teams, Pre-AP® and the acorn logo are registered trademarks of the College Board®. Used with permission.

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