How foreign are the spanish advanced placement world language exams? The case of ethnicity, bilinguality, and heritage learner candidates

Alan V. Brown, Gregory L. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article presents a descriptive analysis of the evolution of the world language Advanced Placement (AP) exam candidates' ethno-racial background, their heritage learner status, and language dominance, with particular emphasis on the two Spanish exams. The data come from aggregated national totals prepared by the College Board that include ethnicity, score, and exam taken from 1979 to 1993 as well as gender, heritage learner status (2004-14), and language dominance (1994-2014). For four of the seven modern language exams other than English, 74% or more of candidates identified their ethno-racial background as something other than white/Caucasian. In 2014, nearly 80% (79.4%) of the Spanish Literature and Culture exam candidates were classified as heritage, using a conservative definition, while well over half (62%) of the Spanish Language and Culture exam candidates could be classified as heritage. The results of these analyses clearly indicate the ever-increasing ethnic and socio-linguistic diversity of Spanish exam candidates as well as those taking other AP world language exams. The authors argue that this diversity should impact all levels of the AP world language exam program, from the design of AP course syllabi and curricula to classroom pedagogy to the construction, scoring, and norming of the exams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-198
Number of pages18
JournalHispania
Volume103
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 AATSP.

Keywords

  • Advanced Placement
  • Assessment/evaluación
  • Ethnicity/etnicidad
  • Heritage language/lengua de herencia
  • Language/lengua

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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