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AP Course Framework Components



This course framework provides a description of the course requirements necessary for student success. The framework specifies what students must know, be able to do, and understand to qualify for college credit or placement.

The course framework includes the following essential components:


At the core of the AP Chinese Language and Culture course are course skills identifying what students

should know and be able to do to succeed in the course. Students should develop and apply the

described skills on a regular basis over the span of the course.


The course is based on six recommended course themes that help teachers integrate language,

content, and culture into a series of lessons and activities. Within each theme are recommended

contexts and overarching essential questions that engage students, guide their classroom

investigations, and promote the use of language in a variety of contexts.


Foundational to the course are the three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and

presentational, as defined in ACTFL’s World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. Throughout

the course, students demonstrate their abilities in the interpretive mode by engaging with written, print,

visual, audiovisual, and audio texts; in the interpersonal mode by speaking with and writing for others;

and in the presentational mode by speaking to and writing for an audience.


Each unit in the course features several of the task models that students will encounter on the exam,

which build in difficulty and complexity over time to the level that matches the exam’s expectations.

These task models include seventeen different types of activities (stimuli with questions) that

address interpretive communication and four free-response tasks that address the interpersonal and

presentational modes.

Course Skills

The following table lays out the basic language and communication skills that students are expected to develop in

the course. As shown later, each skill is further broken out into concrete learning objectives

Course Themes

To provide context and content for students to develop their skills in the modes of communication, the course takes a thematic approach. There are six suggested course themes: Families and Communities, Personal and Public Identities, Beauty and Aesthetics, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, and Global Challenges.








Within each of these themes, there are five to seven recommended contexts. The course is organized thematically into six units. Each unit targets a primary theme, but also connects to additional recommended contexts for those themes. Teaching to multiple themes in every unit ensures a rich curriculum that will spiral, as the themes are revisited through a variety of lenses throughout the course. This allows students to experience the study of language and culture in a variety of authentic and engaging ways and provides teachers with the opportunity to consider the interests and needs of their students when designing instruction. While teachers may organize the course thematically in any way they choose, adhering to the recommended course design provided by the unit guides that follow ensures that all the required courses themes are addressed multiple times in a scaffolded manner

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