AP Spanish teacher in class

Unpacking the Impact of Spanish Teacher Training in Spain

Mary Bowker has become one of our more faithful teachers. She has trusted Centro Mundolengua several times to carry out the College Board AP Spanish teacher training in Spain.

Mary grew up outside of Boston and attended Boston College. While there she studied abroad for a semester in Madrid and she fell in love with Spain. She graduated, moved to Wyoming and then several years later she spent a few months in Costa Rica rekindling her passion for Spanish. After that she got her Ed degree from the University of Wyoming and studied abroad again, but in France this time. After graduation, she began teaching Spanish in Jackson, Wyoming.

Spanish teachers in class

What made you decide to come to this AP® Spanish Workshop in Spain?

I knew I needed to keep working at my own language skills and I know that the best way to do that is being immersed in the language and culture.  I decided to enter a Masters program in Madrid, where I spent four summers earning my MA while I still taught in Jackson the rest of the year.

Since I just can’t get enough of Spain, a few years later I started looking for other opportunities to return.  I found out about the APSI Spanish teacher training with MundoLengua in Sevilla in 2013 and decided to attend.  I hadn’t been to Sevilla before.  It was exciting to be there with other AP Spanish teachers exploring a new part of Spain. The 2-week program with all the cultural activities was fantastic.

What made your teacher training abroad extraordinary?

The first week we were led on excursions, historical tours, took cooking classes, attended a dance performance, learned about Sevillanas, and ate wonderful food together. Walking through the neighborhoods with an expert guide sharing information at every corner was incredible. Highlights from that year would be the walking tour in Barrio Santa Cruz, an evening river cruise on the Guadalquivir with some teachers, and the Paella class, including sangria! Many of the teachers stayed in the same hotel which was really fun because we would just meet up and go exploring, shopping, or out to eat together.

The second week was dedicated to the course and exam. We shared successful strategies and collaborated on developing excellent thematic units, parts of which I still use today. All the teachers were inspiring and wonderful. It was a great place to make professional connections and lifelong friendships.

In 2017 I attended the APSI Spanish teacher training with Centro MundoLengua in Barcelona and once again it was an amazing experience filled with cultural historical tours, visits to museums and parks, delicious meals, a cooking class, and all Gaudi world. You could write a lesson plan around every visit with all the information that you take away.

Spanish Teacher training in Seville
Spanish teacher training in Seville

How did local staff support you throughout your teacher training in Spain?

L' AP Spanish Teacher Training presenters were great and the Centro Mundolengua staff was amazing, knowledgeable, helpful, and super fun! The Centro Mundolengua staff was the best and I had the privilege of having Ken Stewart as the AP presenter. He is wonderful and has a wealth of knowledge for the AP course.

I’m a huge fan of all AP Summer Institutes, but attending one in Spain with MundoLengua cannot be beat.  I cannot say enough positive things about the Mundolengua team.  Everyone that I have met in person and anyone that I have communicated with about the program has been incredibly helpful, responding quickly to any inquiry.  And they are all so warm, fun, and truly unforgettable!

For my teaching practice, the work that we collaborated on carries me through the school year.  I walk away excited for the new year with fresh ideas and new strategies to try, and a family of AP teachers to lean on and reach out to forever.

Would you recommend your APSI Spanish abroad in Spain?

I returned to APSI with Centro Mundolengua for a third summer in 2023, this time in Madrid.  This will be my MundoLengua hat-trick.  I choose these professional development opportunities because they have benefitted me and my students more than any other PD I have experienced.

As a non-native speaker of Spanish I need immersion experiences to boost my proficiency and cultural experiences so that I can be the best that I can for my students. I would recommend all AP and Pre AP teachers to take advantage of the Centro MundoLengua programs. My only regret ever is leaving. Always stay longer. Hey MundoLengua, are you hiring?

Students walking in Sevilla
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