Assigning Homework in AP Spanish

Homework ideas for AP Spanish tarea

Should you Assign Homework?

Perspectives vary greatly on whether or not to assign homework in middle/high schools these days. I think the answer to this question might depend a bit on your school and your students. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How often do students see you? A block schedule might benefit from additional language exposure outside of class time.
  • How many years of language do students take prior to your course? At my last school, my AP students completed levels 1-3 prior to AP and often benefitted from more cultural knowledge, so that is a common homework topic in my class
  • What are expectations at your school? Is it commonplace not to assign HW? Or perhaps to assign a heavier load for college-level courses? I’d say you’re always safe assigning a lighter load than what’s expected, but be cautious with assigning more than the norm as this could lead to some unwanted challenges/complaints!

I assign my AP students homework but not typically daily and not a mega-heavy load. I may assign it a few days a week or something to work on over the course of a week to provide them with additional language input outside of our class time together. 

Topics for AP Spanish Homework

Students can really focus on any of your language goals as a homework assignment. (Check out this post for more on planning your year for AP Spanish). The following are some examples of skills students could work on at home:

  • reading comprehension
  • listening comprehension
  • conversational practice
  • writing practice
  • cultural knowledge
  • AP-exam prep
  • grammar review
  • vocabulary building

8 Homework Ideas for AP Spanish

The following ideas are great to use in AP Spanish to target the variety of learning goals and skills addressed in the course. 

1. Temas culturales

Want your students to improve their cultural knowledge in preparation for the cultural comparison? I began assigning “temas culturales” to my students every week or two so that they could become an expert on one country all year and research a variety of topics related to the AP themes we were studying. Students complete a handout structured around the 3 Ps (products, practices and perspectives) and then write a descriptive cultural comparison paragraph. These sheets become great study guides for the exam! One the due date, students share their findings with classmates and make further comparisons. Check it out here! 

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are great for exposing students to speakers in the target language, often in shorter snippets. A few podcasts I like include: Notes in Spanish Advanced, TED en Español, Te invito un café and El hilo. Of course, preview any episode before using as not all may be appropriate for the classroom setting!

What can students do with a podcast? They can… note down new words learned, write 10 important takeaways, summarize main ideas, respond/react with their own opinion, compare to something from their own life & design 1-2 discussion questions around the podcast & more!

3. Noticias de la semana

Have students find one current news article a week (or biweekly or monthly) related to their country of study. This provides great exposure to current events and reading practice in Spanish.

What can students do with an article? Just like with a podcast, students can note vocabulary learned, summarize, express a reaction/opinion and/or compare to their own community. You can even have students annotate the article (if printing is an option) – one color for new words, one color for key takeaways, one color for questions they have about something. Students can bring their findings to class and initiate discussion in small groups.

4. Vocabulary Practice

While vocabulary practice and exposure is often embedded directly into all the activities in and outside of class, you may find your students benefit from additional support. I collected vocabulary terms relevant to each AP context into lists for my students to support them in their discussions and writing throughout each unit. Check out the vocabulary lists here!

What can students do with new vocabulary terms? They can create a chart of synonyms and antonyms, choose pairs of words to write creative sentences, complete a free write or story utilizing 8-10 new words, write a conversation/script using 8-10 new words, design a vocabulary quiz for their peers and more! You can also assign practice via Quizlet!

5. Grammar Practice via Google Forms

Sometimes it’s challenging to find class time for grammar review at this level, but you may still realize your students could benefit from the additional review. My favorite way to do this is through an auto-graded Google Form. You can add sections or links that review the topic and a variety of practice questions. The auto-grade feature gives both you and students immediate feedback. Leave students space to ask you questions that you can address with the full class!

6. Recorded Student Conversations

One option to encourage students to engage in interpersonal communication is to require them to hold a conversation with a classmate and record/submit it to you. I currently prefer Flipgrid for this purpose. Students record a video of themselves (either in person or on Facetime/Zoom) discussing a topic relevant to the current unit of study. You can encourage students to include relevant vocabulary, practice reacting to their peers’ comments or simply just converse for a set period of time.

7. Textbook Reading

Many AP Spanish textbooks are filled with readings relevant to the units of study. Instead of waiting for students (of varying reading abilities) to all read during class time, have students come to class with the reading completed, along with a handout as proof.

What can students do with a textbook reading? Students can note and define new vocabulary, note down 5 important quotes from the reading/story and why they stand out, write a reaction/opinion pieces, write 5 comprehension check questions they’d ask a classmate, write 2 discussion questions based on the reading, summarize it’s main points and more!

8. Tarea de elección

I started implementing choice homework my second year teaching AP and loved it. Students are provided a choice board of activities targeting a variety of skills and complete 2 per week, submitting the final packet at the end of the month or unit. (You can collect more frequently to hold students accountable!). I required students to complete 2 reading activities, 2 listening activities, 2 speaking activities and 2 writing activities and include 2 pieces of evidence for each one.

Sample activities and 2 pieces of evidence:

  • Read a current events article and 1) choose 10 new words and write a new sentence with each + 2) describe what AP theme it relates to and elaborate on how/why
  • Write a fictional story and 1) include 8 vocab terms from the unit + 2) 5 transition/connecting words
  • Listen to a TV program and 1) write an analysis of themes presented + 2) write a reflection/reaction 

Want to see more choice homework ideas? 

Check out and purchase the full Tarea de elección (student templates included) here! This can be used for all AP units throughout the year!

I hope these ideas help you in choosing thoughtful homework assignments for your AP students! Other ideas? Share with us in the comments below!

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