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A redesigned version of AP Spanish Literature and Culture launched in fall 2012. The redesigned course is equivalent to a one-semester college course in literature written in Spanish. This revision to the course and exam is a reflection of our commitment to continually enhance AP’s alignment with current best practices in college-level learning. Learn more about the AP course and exam redesign.

Foundations of the Redesign

The new Spanish Literature and Culture was developed by a committee of college Spanish literature faculty and AP teachers using the Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century as a foundation. The curriculum also incorporates the results of a 2007 study of nearly 250 parallel college course curricula and the findings of a 48-member commission.

Goals of the redesign:

  • Reduce the number of required readings. AP Spanish Literature and Culture includes a shortened, linguistically and thematically challenging required reading list. The readings promote depth of understanding and contextual knowledge; enable teachers to incorporate art and other media into their curriculum; and empower students to develop critical reading, analytical writing and research skills in Spanish.
  • Align with national standards. The revised course incorporates the communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities goals outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning: Preparing for the 21st Century. These goals emphasize the development of proficiency in interpersonal, presentational and interpretive modes of communication; include studying literature through global, historical and contemporary cultural contexts; encourage making interdisciplinary connections and linguistic and cultural comparisons; and articulate expectations for student progress.
  • Emphasize contextual analysis. Students relate the readings to literary, historical, sociocultural and geopolitical contexts.
  • Engage students in cultural contexts through the use of media. Students are exposed to authentic media (music, documentary films, radio, television), encouraging them to interpret what they hear or see, and helping them compare the features and content of media resources to literary texts.
  • Develop proficiency in interpretive listening. Students are encouraged to listen to audio texts related to course content.
  • Incorporate a thematic approach. Thematic instruction enables students to make contextual connections across genres and time periods, although teachers may organize their syllabi chronologically or by genre.

Course and Exam Overview

AP Spanish Literature and Culture course introduces students to the formal study of a representative body of texts from Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic literature. It aims to provide students with ongoing and varied opportunities to further develop their proficiencies across the full range of language skills — with special attention to critical reading and analytical writing — and to encourage them to reflect on the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish.

The inclusion of “and Culture” in the title of the course reflects a purposeful alignment of the course to a standards-based Spanish curriculum. In particular, the course reflects a meaningful integration of the cultures, connections and comparisons goal areas of the Standards. Emphasis is placed on approaching the study of literature through global, historical and contemporary cultural contexts. Teachers and students are encouraged to make interdisciplinary connections and explore linguistic and cultural comparisons. A key objective of the course is to encourage students not only to understand and retell the content of the texts they read but also to relate that content to literary, historical, sociocultural and geopolitical contexts in Spanish.

There are six required themes in AP Spanish Literature and Culture: Las sociedades en contacto, La construcci n del género, El tiempo y el espacio, La creaci n literaria, Las relaciones interpersonales, and La dualidad del ser. These themes provide a meaningful basis for making contextual connections among works of different genres, periods and movements, as well as connections to other disciplines. Each theme has suggested organizing concepts to help focus thematic exploration. Essential questions for each theme promote student curiosity and motivate inquiry.

Study of the AP Spanish Literature and Culture curriculum requires that only unabridged, full text, Spanish language versions of the required readings be used.

Reading List

  • Isabel Allende, “Dos palabras”
  • An nimo, “Romance de la pérdida de Alhama”
  • An nimo, Lazarillo de Tormes (Pr logo; Tratados 1, 2, 3, 7)
  • Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Rima LIII (“Volverán las oscuras golondrinas”)
  • Jorge Luis Borges, “Borges y yo”
  • Jorge Luis Borges, “El Sur”
  • Julia de Burgos, “A Julia de Burgos”
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote (Primera parte, capítulos 1–5, 8 y 9; Segunda parte, capítulo 74)
  • Julio Cortázar, “La noche boca arriba”
  • Hernán Cortés, “Segunda carta de relaci n” (selecciones)
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, “Hombres necios que acusáis”
  • Rubén Darío, “A Roosevelt”
  • Don Juan Manuel, Conde Lucanor, Exemplo XXXV (“De lo que aconteci a un mozo que cas con una mujer muy fuerte y muy brava”)
  • Osvaldo Dragún, El hombre que se convirti en perro
  • Carlos Fuentes, “Chac Mool”
  • Federico García Lorca, La casa de Bernarda Alba
  • Federico García Lorca, “Prendimiento de Antoñito el Camborio en el camino de Sevilla”
  • Gabriel García Márquez, “El ahogado más hermoso del mundo”
  • Gabriel García Márquez, “La siesta del martes”
  • Garcilaso de la Vega, Soneto XXIII (“En tanto que de rosa y azucena”)
  • Luis de G ngora, Soneto CLXVI (“Mientras por competir con tu cabello”)
  • Nicolás Guillén, “Balada de los dos abuelos”
  • José María Heredia, “En una tempestad”
  • Miguel Le n-Portilla, Visi n de los vencidos (dos secciones: “Los presagios, según los informantes de Sahagún” y “Se ha perdido el pueblo mexica”)
  • Antonio Machado, “He andado muchos caminos”
  • José Martí, “Nuestra América”
  • Rosa Montero, “Como la vida misma”
  • Nancy Morej n, “Mujer negra”
  • Pablo Neruda, “Walking around”
  • Emilia Pardo Bazán, “Las medias rojas”
  • Francisco de Quevedo, Salmo XVII (“Miré los muros de la patria mía”)
  • Horacio Quiroga, “El hijo”
  • Tomás Rivera, … y no se lo trag la tierra (dos capítulos: “…y no se lo trag la tierra” y “La noche buena”)
  • Juan Rulfo, “No oyes ladrar los perros”
  • Alfonsina Storni, “Peso ancestral”
  • Tirso de Molina, El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra
  • Sabine Ulibarrí, “Mi caballo mago”
  • Miguel de Unamuno, San Manuel Bueno, mártir

Read the full course and exam description.