30 November 2009

Print & audio sources for AP synthesis essay re: efficient energy

In the world language classroom, we are not just teaching language. Language as a means of communication by its very nature enables us to touch our world in different ways. That's why I say all the time that a major part of our responsibility is to help our students become world citizens by keeping them informed on what's going on in the Latin world. Another aspect of this is to encourage "green" thinking in light of the Latin world. That's not hard to do, given that the world's largest rainforest and concentration of species is found on the South American continent.

The people who write the AP exam are aware of this as well. They want our students to be green citizens like we do, and chances are there's going to be something on the environment on the AP. This whole emphasis is clear if you open any advanced or AP Spanish textbook--there's usually an entire unit devoted to the topic. I know in the AP curriculum I've created for my classroom, my fourth unit is on the environment.

Because of this focus, in this unit my students wrote an essay about the importance of developing efficient sources of energy and hypothesizing on where energy technology will take us in the future (good use of future tense & subjunctive). My two print sources were a Wall Street Journal article entitled "Cinco tecnologías que podrían cambiarlo todo" and an article from Yahoo Autos about the features on the upcoming Chevrolet Volt.
The audio for the essay comes from a video taken at the recent Solar Decathlon in Washington. It's featured on the YouTube channel and website of Solar Decathlon Europe, who are looking forward to holding the competition in Spain next year--a golden opportunity for you to highlight this important event in the Spanish classroom.

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