summer homework

Summer Homework for Spanish Students

Does your district require summer work for some or all courses? Mine has gone back and forth over the years, but currently, only AP Courses are required to have summer work. But what are the pros and cons of summer homework in Spanish class?

The Pros For Summer Homework for Spanish Students

Learning a language is a cumulative endeavor. We all know what the “summer slip” is, and we know it occurs with all children, regardless of age. I have always worried that the “slip” is larger for language students, but I’m not sure if there is any scientific evidence for that!

One pro for requiring summer homework is that it keeps students engaged in the language. Perhaps it prevents the slip by a little?

Another pro for summer work is that it may give teachers a good baseline for where students are when they start the new year. We have a large Spanish department, and it is likely that a teacher knows few or none of their students from the year before. We do not share grades or benchmark data within our department (unless we specifically ask for such data), so we have no idea where are students are or where they ended the year last year.

Here is a benefit of requiring summer work that applies to AP students. In our school, there are many times when a student signs up in January for an AP course, but as senior year actually approaches, they decide the course isn’t for them. Sometimes failure to find the motivation to complete the summer work is a good indication for students who find they are not as serious as they thought they were about the course. They have the opportunity to drop the course before the school year starts.

The Cons for Summer Work for Spanish Students

On the other hand, I can think of plenty of reasons why summer work may not be necessary.

  1. Maybe all of us need a break during the summer. Many teachers take the summer off, or at least a good portion of it! They create boundaries and pursue anything and everything besides things that relate to their job during their weeks of summer. Do students need this mental break as well? I don’t recall having summer homework when I was in high school (almost 25 years ago!).
  2. What about the students who just don’t do it? This happens to me every year with my AP Spanish students. Either someone forgets, chooses not to do it, or joins the class late and doesn’t get the assignment. Now what? Either the new student starts the year behind the 8 ball, or the other students start the year with a poor grade. Either way, How demotivating is that!?!?
  3. The struggle is real- so let’s talk logistics. Every year I have collected summer work from my AP students and felt BURIED from the 2nd day of school with correcting. Sometimes I wonder if I’m being lazy or overly dramatic…. But it is extremely anxiety-producing for me!
  4. It takes some creativity to make a meaningful summer assignment. For example, what can we ask students to produce that we can have some assurance that they did themselves? (And not with their best friend Google Translate?)

Ideas For Summer Homework For Spanish Students

Love it or hate it, some of us will need to give summer homework to our Spanish students. So here are some ideas!

A) AP Spanish Language and Culture:

This is my summer assignment! (You can purchase this already created and done for you, or you can create your own version!) Mine includes all 4 skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. I ask students to find an article on a current event. They will read it and write a summary in Spanish. Next, they will listen to a podcast. They will summarize the podcast in class during the first few days of school. (I sit with small groups and listen to their summaries while the rest of the class is working on other tasks.)

B) For students in Years 3 and 4:

-culture activities

-news articles



-create a presentation about something they like

-watch a TV show in Spanish

C) For students in Year 2

-create a review game of the topics learned in Spanish 1

-create a presentation about yourself to share with a new classmate

-create a presentation focused on a topic: colors, sports, foods, etc.

-read an article from a magazine designed for Spanish students


I’m not sure I have a definite conclusion here! We may all have our opinions, but sometimes our district will direct us. I would love to know what you think and/or what you do! Feel free to send me a message at!


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summer homework