Advanced placement courses in Spanish for middle school enables students to earn college credit early, as well as learn the language.
The Riverside Unified district offers advanced placement classes for middle schoolers in Spanish, which include general course content, technical manuals, and essay writing. At Central Middle School, eighth graders are able to take these advanced placement courses in middle school.
The College Board generally does not approve advanced placement courses below ninth grade, with one exception – Spanish. At a time when many districts are struggling to provide basic foreign language instruction, Riverside schools have a small number of students who qualify for the Advanced Placement college level classes.
The focus is not just on language acquisition, but on literacy, punctuation, grammar, and other nuances that some native speakers will not learn without formal instruction. “It makes me feel fantastic to be able to take this class,” said Jose Bonilla, 13. “It showing me new cultures and beliefs that people have in Spanish-speaking countries.” Bonilla appreciates the ability to improve his reading comprehension and grammar.
The pre-Advanced Placement Spanish classes were offered first in 2009 and the first AP classes followed in Riverside Unified. The idea was to increase Latino students’ participation in AP classes.