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decent, but could definitely improve (and hopefully will) posted by Rut H. on June 11 2012 at 16:28:14
I think it should be made clear that this class is supposed to prepare you for the AP Spanish Language exam, not the literature one (even if sometimes it seems that way). The class is, of course, for those who have studied Spanish for a number of years and are pretty serious about it. That said, I didn’t find the class to be particularly intensive or challenging. Part of that may have been because a lot of work was review – even if I got answers wrong, the concepts were familiar. Part of it may simply be because there wasn’t all that much work to do for the class. The amount of time homework took varied a lot, starting at about two hours per week, plus the hour for class.
Homework consisted of a couple things: reading, doing exercises (mostly from the book Repaso), and some variation of researching a topic and doing a short presentation of it to the class. There were very few tests and quizzes. During the weekly skype sessions, we discussed what we read and the topics of students’ presentations, and completed grammar exercises. There was also a project on Spanish-speaking artists. Although there is something of a schedule, Mr. Leven is pretty flexible and may well spend more time on an area of difficulty if a student asks.
This class is good for someone entering their 4th or 5th year of Spanish and who is simply interested in continuing with, but not necessarily devoting a lot of time, to their Spanish studies.
In terms of preparation for the AP exam, the class wasn’t much help. There was hardly any explanation of what the exam would be like. Although some of the homework, like reading about a topic and writing a short piece about it and our opinion on it, had correlations to what’s on the exam, there was never any direct practice for the exam. At times, the class didn’t even seem to have any direction at all. I only felt prepared for the AP exam because the month before I spent quite a while practicing for it myself. Hopefully though, Mr. Leven will work on this and add direct preparation for the exam. Some other issues with the class are partly there, no doubt, because Mr. Leven is still experimenting with teaching online.
Overall, the class is decent. Even if somewhat disappointing, it was still useful and hopefully it will get better. At the same time though, anyone looking for an intensive and very challenging class should look somewhere else.