World Language Department 2.0


Photo courtesy of Keegan Brooks.

An image of the AP Spanish bulletin board.

Keegan Brooks and Vivien Orellana

Back to the Course Catalog here.

AP French 

At Chamblee, French is often a forgotten language. Most students enter with a history of either Spanish and German and are reluctant to start over again with a new language in high school. AP French class is typically hosted in the same classroom as the French III class. However, the students don’t find the small class size to be a hindrance.

“That just makes it more fun,” said Skylar Livengood (‘20). “We’re like our own little section of people.”

Most of the students shared this perspective of a very comfortable learning environment. Jacob Keet (‘20) spoke about his comfort with the teacher, Wanddolff Bretous.

“The best part is he can connect with his students to learn French and he understands about my other classes,” said Keet.

Despite sharing a room with French III, AP French students perform their own separate activities. Students described the AP as distinct from previous language courses.

“In younger classes, we learn grammar, but in AP French we really just put it all together and learn to interact with people who are interested in the same,” said Ashley Michel (‘21).

A typical day consists mostly of activities such as writing or speaking in French.

“We do a lot of talking in French, which is good because it helps our fluency,” said Mahelet Asefa (‘20). “We also do a lot of writing, so that we are able to read and write and speak at the same time. We do a lot of activities where we’ll read articles about what’s going on in France to be able to get that global identity.”

Though the course was AP, most did not find it overly stressful or difficult. Homework was rare as long as all classwork was completed.

“We do the majority of stuff in class, but everyone in that class is very focused so we just kind of knock it out,” said Asefa.

Every student interviewed recommended the class to people interested in French.

AP German

The Chamblee German program has gone through some turmoil recently. AP German has been taught by four different teachers in the past, two of whom were new to Chamblee. The class is currently taught by Yesim Ozbarlas (Dr. O). The class is meant to prepare students for the College Board exam and can replace German IV in a student’s language track. Generally, it is required for the student to take German III or III+ before taking AP German.

Ozbarlas’s class was said to be fairly laid back with little to no homework.

“The class is very relaxing and laid back,” said Kayian Xu (‘22). “We have zero homework. Everyone has a hundred.”

Sanjeev Anand (‘22) agrees with this assessment of the class.

“The lowest grade is 100. The highest is 101. We haven’t had a test yet. She’s put in a quiz but no one took one,” said Anand.

Several students did express concern about being prepared for the AP German exam. The test is viewed as hard to prepare for due to the sheer size of the curriculum. Rachel Lee stated it was the hardest exam she took that year (‘21).

“The exam took about 4 to 5 hours,” said Lee. “ I would say the multiple-choice and listening comprehension were hard. It’s an actual German test and there’s a lot of words you don’t understand.”

AP Spanish

AP Spanish, also known as AP Spanish Language and Culture, is a college-level Spanish class taught by Coromoto Rodriguez. At Chamblee, the class is normally taken by seniors after three years of Spanish classes.

“AP Spanish is essentially a language and culture class. [The teacher] integrates Spanish culture so we started with like painters and like Spanish history and so sometimes she goes into history lessons. […] And then she also emphasizes like all like the correct forms of conjugation for verbs because there’s a lot of them in regards to like Spanish. And then we do a lot of presentations and a lot of speaking. It’s really interactive in the sense that we do some readings and she asks [what we think],” said Victoria Ordonez (‘20).

A large amount of work in AP Spanish takes place on the platform VHL Central, an online learning environment where students can take quizzes, do exercises, and practice Spanish.

AP Spanish is described by students as much more challenging than previous Spanish classes at Chamblee.

“It’s a lot harder [than previous Spanish classes I’ve taken,” said Adriana Ramo (‘20).

Some students in AP Spanish feel concerned about not being adequately prepared for the AP exam, and that the teacher should be doing more to help students prepare.

“The big thing is that she is not really pushing the whole practice AP Exam […] We have not done much AP practice. [She is] giving us projects on the exact opposite of what the AP Exam is about,” said Luis Galena (‘20).

Students in AP Spanish also recommend making sure to keep up with all your work, as Rodriguez may check it at a later date. Rodriguez is also described as more lenient in regards to classroom behavior.

Students interviewed overall recommend AP Spanish, but some recommend taking Spanish IV before taking AP Spanish or considering who is teaching the class before signing up.