AP Spanish Language Interpersonal Writing Task
If you’re unfamiliar with the AP program, it stands for Advanced Placement. Language students in high school can study Spanish to the upper intermediate level and take a test demonstrating the skills they developed. Since it’s an upper level class and often replaces lower level classes with a lab requirement, many American universities offer a healthy number of credits for getting a passing score of at least a three, but generally a 4 or a 5. Also, these scores can be used for admission into British universities. The most recent information I have is that a student can get admission to Cambridge, Oxford or UCL having scored at least a 4 on 3 different AP exams.
Whether you’re a language student in high school, teacher, or independent language student, knowing about the program and the materials are a fantastic way to really polish and improve your language skills.
The letter writing task is one of the first ones that I recommend working on for several reasons. Number one, it’s a great opportunity for input. Reading is one of the best ways to build vocabulary and learn grammar completely in context. Dr. Steven Krashen did a study of two hyperpolyglots who both cited extensive reading in their target languages as the main reason for their competency. Two, it’s a real life skill.
Writing letters and emails is a useful real life skill that takes a little bit of time to develop. A few little hacks can make the difference between a whole score, that could be free college credit or not. As I said earlier, this is not just for high school students. This program and the materials are a great way to make that shift to upper intermediate which is what is considered fluent by many people.
The materials are shared on the college board website and are available abundantly on Amazon by different companies to practice for the exam. Here are some steps I recommend to get started becoming an expert on this task.
1. You’re only given 15 minutes to read and respond to the task, but I wouldn’t put that kind of pressure early on to complete it. Read and really take your time understanding. Soak up all that vocab.
2. Make sure you have an appropriate opening. On the real tasks, they’ve always been formal, but informal letter writing is also really good to know and practice. Check out the letter writing vocabulary below.
3. Write a short introductory polite paragraph acknowledging the person who wrote you the email.
4. Go through the content and answer all the questions asked.
5. Be sure to ask at least a couple of questions.
6. Write a closing perhaps thanking them again for having written you the letter, or email. Basically say something nice.
7. Include an appropriate closing.
If you’re an independent student and you’re looking for more resources, click here.
AP Spanish Interpersonal
Letter Writing Vocabulary and Conventions
Querido= Dear (to one male)
Querida= Dear (to one female)
Queridos=Dear (to more than one male or males and females)
Queridas=Dear (to more than one female)
un abrazo fuerte
Estimado= Dear in the formal sense (to one male)
Estimada= Dear in the formal sense (to one female)
Estimados= Dear in the formal sense (to more than one male or males and females)
Estimadas= Dear in the formal sense (to more than one female)
Muy señores míos=Equivalent to “To Whom It May Concern”
I love the materials as an independent student of languages. I did the materials in French some years back, and I made loads of progress.
Are you a teacher? Try some easier letter writing tasks. Doing this from early on really builds those interpersonal task writing skills as they prepare for AP Spanish.
Are you a Canva user? If so, here is one of their templates:
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