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College Board Revamps AP Latin and Spanish Lit

You've heard the mantra "fewer, higher, clearer" when it comes to standards, right? The College Board has revamped its Advanced Placement Latin and AP Spanish Literature and Culture courses to focus more deeply on narrower goals.

The redesigns, announced today, are intended in part to "shift the instructional emphasis from breadth to depth of coverage," according to the College Board. Another aim was to make course objectives clearer. The changes take effect in 2012-13.

The new AP Latin course will combine prose and poetry that are currently taught in separate courses. In the redesigned course, students will focus on the works of Vergil and Caesar. The 6,500 students who take AP Latin each year will have to read and translate prose and poetry, analyze literary texts in written argument, and practice sight reading, according to the College Board.

In Spanish Literature and Culture, a course taken by about 17,000 students each year, a reading list of 56 works of prose, poetry, and drama has been winnowed to 38 readings that better reflect the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world in Spain, Latin America, and the United States, according to the College Board. The changes also give teachers "the time they need to promote students' depth of understanding and contextual knowledge," and "incorporate art and other media into their curriculum," the College Board said.

Revisions to AP French, German, and World History will take effect during the 2011-12 academic year. The College Board also recently announced the reinstatement of its Italian course for next year. It will begin working on revisions to AP biology and U.S. history courses this winter.

More details about changes in AP courses, including their reading lists and curriculum frameworks, can be found in a special section of the College Board's website.

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