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ERIC Number: ED534443
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 391
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-8069-0
Who Is the Self That Teaches? A Perspective of Faculty as They Learn to Teach Spanish as a Heritage Language
Zimmerman, Nancy S.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
Having orally proficient Spanish speaking heritage learners in a class alongside monolingual English speakers who are learning Spanish as a second language is quite the challenge: the heritage learners' ability to converse can be intimidating to the non heritage learner, but at the same time, the non heritage learner's ability to grasp the grammar has the same effect on the native Spanish speaker. Knowing how to teach Spanish as a heritage language is quite different from teaching Spanish as a second language or foreign language, yet those of us in the field frequently find ourselves struggling to find approaches that truly meet the needs of the heritage learners. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of university faculty who are in the process or have learned how to teach Spanish effectively to those students who wish to re/connect and maintain the language of their heritage. In order to hear their stories and understand how they have evolved into teachers of Spanish as a heritage language without formal training, I utilized narrative inquiry. Ten university faculty members who are or have been directly engaged in teaching Spanish to heritage learners were interviewed. Their stories remain intact, and I analyzed the data with three distinct lenses. To understand how their experiences in their community of practice impacted their teaching, I utilized experiential learning theory/situative cognition. To comprehend the manner with which university instructors learn to teach, specifically Spanish as heritage language, I considered the scholarship of teaching and learning. To search for the pedagogies that appear to best meet the needs of these learners, I investigated culturally responsive teaching/whole person pedagogy. Throughout these narratives, participants described their teaching that in part subscribed to culturally responsive teaching and whole person pedagogy with commonalities discovered in experience, wholeness, community and co-construction. Their experiences teaching within a community of Spanish speaking heritage learners contributed to their practice, and they in turn contribute to the practice by participating in the scholarship of teaching and learning. They learn through experiences within the community of practice that in effect teaches them. As these practitioners share and write about their practice, the scholarship of teaching and learning that addresses teaching Spanish as a heritage language grows, and the cycle of learning how to teach is maintained. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A