Spanish teacher acquires new ESP class

Kris Christensen looks forward to conversing with students


Isaac Wahl

Kris Christiansen teaches one of her AP Spanish eight classes a unit on beauty and aesthetic Dec. 14.

Samantha Klepfer and Racquel Fhima

In her fifth year of teaching, Kris Christiansen is introduced as the teacher of AP Spanish Language and Culture.

Christiansen said although the class has been a challenge to adapt to, she’s confident in her teaching abilities.  

“It’s one hundred percent different than what I taught the past two years. I’ve taught different things at different points: one year I taught Spanish II and III, and then I taught Spanish VII and VIII and then I went back to two and three and did two and three again,” Christiansen said. “This year again I was going to be teaching Spanish I and Spanish II. That was my plan. So the beginning levels of the classic track, to the higher level courses for the ESP track, it’s crazy. ”

According to Christiansen, AP Spanish Language and Culture is less about grammar and more about understanding cultures and the subdivisions within the cultures.

“The focus is not on grammar. A lot of parents have been asking me about the grammar on the test, and it’s not a grammar test. It’s about understanding culture, connecting your

 personal culture with other cultures and then looking at the different products of culture.” Christiansen said.

Ben Bryan, a sophomore in Spanish VIII said that he liked that Christiansen assigned more in class work than their previous teacher.

“(Our old teacher) would go on these long rants and then we wouldn’t have much time to do actual schoolwork and we had a lot more projects, especially outside of school,” Ben Bryan said. “so (Christiansen’s class is) basically more us doing work in class.”

One of Christiansen’s students, Maia Doherty, said she like Christiansen’s teaching style.

“I think that she’s a really good teacher. I like her. I like how she doesn’t just stand there in front of the class and explain things, she uses the book and she has visuals,” Doherty said. “(Other teachers go) really fast, and (don’t) really go back on what we had learned previously. Ms. Christensen teaches us and then goes back.”

According to Christiansen, AP Spanish Language and culture is different from her other classes because it includes a lot of content.

“The difference is that it’s a lot of content. It’s very much like a social studies class taught in spanish, with a smattering of grammar support where needed really is what it is.”