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Book details
ISBN: 9780078037092 / 0078037093
Division: Higher Education
Pub Date: JUL-14
Pages: 248

Copyright: 2015
Edition: 1
Format: Paperback
Heritage Language Teaching: Research and Practice

Sara Beaudrie, Cynthia Ducar, Kim Potowski


About the book

Heritage Language Teaching: Research and Practice presents 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. The book can be useful in a number of contexts:
  • As the sole text in a course that focuses on teaching heritage learners
  • As an adjunct to a number of “methods” books used in introductory language teaching courses
  • As a text for undergraduates pursuing certification in a teacher education program, graduate students in methods courses, and in service instructors who wish to expand their knowledge about teaching heritage learners.

Table of contents

Heritage language teaching: Research and practice

By Beaudrie, Ducar & Potowski

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Heritage language teaching in the United States: An introduction

  • A history of heritage languages in the United States
  • Characteristics of minority languages
  • Language education of minority language communities

Chapter 2: General Sociolinguistic Considerations
  • The myth of “standard” language
  • Prestigious vs. stigmatized language
  • Register and style
  • Dialect variation
  • Appropriateness arguments
  • Language contact

Chapter 3: Who are heritage language learners'
  • Definitions of heritage learners
  • Diversity of heritage learners
  • How heritage learners differ from L2 learners
  • Tools for gathering information about heritage students

Chapter 4: Goals and principles in heritage language instruction
  • Principles for heritage language instruction
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Language arts
  • Critical language pedagogy

Chapter 5: Developing listening and speaking skills
  • L1/L2 listening and speaking development and their relevancy for the HL context
  • ACTFL standards, particularly Presentation skills
  • Principled approaches in the teaching of listening & speaking - with heritage learners at all levels of proficiency
  • Assessing heritage learners’ listening & speaking skills: LAS - Links, the ACTFL OPI scale (and pitfalls with heritage learners) and other assessment tools
  • Heritage learners and the Advanced Placement Spanish language exam: listening and speaking

Chapter 6: Literacy Development: Reading
  • What do we know about the teaching of reading in L1 and in L2, and what is most applicable to heritage learners'
  • Transferring literacy skills from English to the HL
  • Principled approaches to the teaching of reading
  • Teaching reading strategies

Chapter 7: Developing literacy skills: Writing
  • What do we know about the teaching of writing in L1 and in L2, and what is most applicable to heritage learners'
  • Assessing heritage learners' writing levels
  • Developing academic writing skills in the HL
  • Principled approaches to the teaching of writing, including technological tools (paired blogging, social networking, etc.)

Chapter 8: Approaches to grammar instruction
  • What do we know about the teaching of grammar in L1 and in L2, and what is most applicable to heritage learners'
  • Three understandings of grammar and how they inform HL teaching
  • Lessons from studies of second dialect acquisition: The potential of contrastive analysis in teaching grammar to heritage learners

Chapter 9: Developing cultural proficiency
  • Foundational ideas from L1 and L2 cultural development and this applicability to the HL context
  • Heritage learners and the ACTFL standards for culture: C versus c
  • Practices, Products and Perspectives: the importance of perspective in the HL context
  • Critical language pedagogy
  • Incorporating student voices in HL cultural curriculum
  • Principled approaches to developing cultural proficiency and critical language awareness

Chapter 10: Program and administrative considerations
  • Program options: Levels and format
  • Program development
  • Identifying and placing heritage learners
  • Placement exams and differentiated assessment



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