Heritage Language Teaching: Research and Practice

A summary of research in heritage language development and an exploration of classroom practices that best meet the needs of heritage learners in the United States based on that research. There is particular emphasis on Spanish as a heritage language due to the large amount of research generated in that language, but general principles as well as specific details relevant to other languages are also featured.

The book's purposes include:

• To familiarize teachers with aspects of the sociolinguistic reality of minority languages in the U.S. that impact curricular and pedagogical practices.
• To offer basic theoretical underpinnings and research findings in a non technical style about the development of a heritage language.
• To weave together different curricular and classroom approaches to teaching heritage learners.
• To provide guidelines for placement, curriculum, and other administrative concerns.

This book assumes no prior knowledge of language acquisition, and is intended for those who are beginning or are already engaged in a teaching career at the postsecondary or high school level. The tone and style are informal and reader friendly; jargon and technical terms are avoided when possible and defined when used. While many examples are provided in Spanish, the authors have also included examples from the other more commonly taught HLs in the United States as well.

The book is designed to be useful to all teachers of heritage languages in the U.S. Each chapter includes a chapter summary, a list of suggested further reading as well as discussion questions and "Pause to consider" boxes.


Sara Beaudrie is a faculty member with the School of International Letters and Cultures.