An increasing number of U.S. Latinos are seeking to become more
proficient in Spanish. The Spanish they may have been exposed to in
childhood may not be sufficient when they find themselves as adults
in more demanding environments, academic or professional. Heritage
language learners appear in a wide spectrum of proficiency, from
those who have a low level of speaking abilities, to those who may
have a higher degree of bilingualism, but not fluent. Whatever the
individual case may be, these heritage speakers of Spanish have
different linguistic and pedagogical needs than those students
learning Spanish as a second or foreign language.
The members of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and
Portuguese (AATSP) have identified teaching heritage learners as
their second greatest area of concern (after proficiency testing).
Editors Ana Roca and Cecilia Colombi saw a great need for greater
availability and dissemination of scholarly research in applied
linguistics and pedagogy that address the development and
maintenance of Spanish as a heritage language and the teaching of
Spanish to U.S. Hispanic bilingual students in grades K-16. The
result is Mi lengua: Spanish as a Heritage Language in the
Mi lengua delves into the research, theory, and practice
of teaching Spanish as a heritage language in the United States.
The editors and contributors examine theoretical considerations in
the field of Heritage Language Development (HLD) as well as
community and classroom-based research studies at the elementary,
secondary, and university levels. Some chapters are written in
Spanish and each chapter presents a practical section on
pedagogical implications that provides practice-related suggestions
for the teaching of Spanish as a heritage language to students from
elementary grades to secondary and college and university levels.
Subjects: Linguistics, Language & Literature
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