AP Spanish Literature is back once more since its first installment in 2015. The class was previously taken away due to low enrollment and a lack of student requests. However, the situation has turned itself around since then and the school was able to reintroduce the program.
The Spanish courses provided by schools typically involve regular, Honors, and AP Language at most. By adding this class, San Gabriel High School, as an educational institution, better distinguishes itself. Each AP course is used to give credit, should students pass the AP exam. In some cases, a student may be able to even minor in a language before they enter college. This depends on the school, which only University of California, Irvine has.
The class exposes the students to culture and literature and goes into detail about how certain elements of Hispanic history came about. It does not limit the forms of expression and has the students open their eyes to new perspectives and ideas compared to what they may be accustomed to from their history classes.
“The Hispanic culture [is] an identity of the past and the future where two worlds connect,” junior Monse Enciso said. “It values religion and our beliefs, and that structures my goals to succeed in life.”
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“It requires a depth of knowledge and is a specialized course that holds a unique rigor,” Principal Debbie Stone said. “Being fluent in two languages is an asset and needs to be cultivated in our diverse communities.”
Like Enciso, a few other students were given the chance to jump from Spanish Honors to AP Spanish Literature due to an adequate proficiency in the language to begin with. The class is not “necessary” as they have filled the requirement for their foreign language course. Students who do take the course shows their will to learn more.
“I like the fact that the course allows us to better understand and appreciate Hispanic cultures that are not necessarily [the students’] own,” AP Spanish Literature teacher Eliana Deniz said. “It has us see that [these cultures and individuals] are valid and that not one culture is superior to another.”
SGHS in general has a student population with 36.8 percent being Hispanic according to a survey made by Start Class. Taking this into consideration, many students would benefit from learning about their ancestral background which is not covered in a regular setting.
“It’s important for the kids to know that this is where we come from and what our people went through,” Deniz said. “That is captured in Spanish literature, which after all dates as far back as medieval times.”
With all of this in mind, SGHS is hopeful that students will be able to continue with these courses for the years to come so that they can better embrace the Latino culture with pride, especially in these times when it is most oppressed.