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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Face, Timothy L.

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2199-3386
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From pedagogy to communities: Issues within and beyond the Spanish heritage language classroom

Dalia Magaña
Published Online: 2015-08-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2015-0014

Abstract

Research on Spanish heritage language pedagogy has flourished in the past few decades, revealing both challenges and successful models to address them. The discussion here will focus on some of these major challenges and models, specifically, heritage language assessment, language variety validation, biliteracy approaches, and connections beyond the classroom. Students enroll in heritage language courses to develop their language repertoires and to become better prepared for professional opportunities that require formal uses of Spanish. However, one of the problems that heritage language instructors may face is guiding learners to develop biliteracy skills while also validating students’ language varieties. Heritage language learners frequently enter the classroom with feelings of inferiority about their language use either because their variety is stigmatized (e.g., they speak a rural variety), their Spanish is limited to oral/informal registers and/or their Spanish has English language influence. For these reasons, instructors’ role in empowering students and their language use is particularly crucial. Heritage language classrooms are also ideal for establishing stronger connections with local communities and professional sectors where Spanish is in demand (e.g., health care).

Keywords: heritage language; pedagogy; community connections

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About the article

Published Online: 2015-08-25

Published in Print: 2015-09-01


Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 375–388, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2015-0014.

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