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ERIC Number: EJ1087294
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1041-679X
Differentiating Heritage and Foreign Language Learners of Spanish: Needs, Perceptions, and Expectations
Hedgcock, John S.; Lefkowitz, Natalie
Applied Language Learning, v26 n1 p1-38 2016
Research on heritage language (HL) development and education has characterized the unique linguistic, sociocultural, and affective profiles of heritage-language (HL) students, yet foreign-language (FL) education has only begun to understand HL students in relation to non-heritage students (Carreira & Kagan, 2011; Felix, 2008). To deepen our understanding of the unique characteristics of HL and FL populations, this investigation examines: (1) how HL learners' language learning goals, perceptions of language proficiency and learning needs, and habits of language use distinguish them from those of their English-speaking FL counterparts, and (2) how FL and HL students' perceptions of (and attitudes toward) Spanish implicitly or explicitly reflect attitudes expressed in the classroom and elsewhere. This mixed-methods study explores and compares the perceptions and experiences of 109 university-level HL students and 138 FL students as reported in survey responses and ethnographic interviews. Socio-affective variables distinguishing HL and FL groups include attitudes toward Spanish, judgments of linguistic norms, learners' efforts to achieve legitimacy as users of Spanish, and obstacles to interaction, including anxiety and social inhibition. Quantitative and qualitative analyses depict participants' self-images as fragile users of Spanish, with many characterizations paralleling instructor and peer perceptions.
Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center. Academic Journals, 1759 Lewis Road Suite 142, Presidio of Monterey, Monterey, CA 93944-5006. Tel: 831-242-5638; Fax: 831-242-5850; e-mail:; Website:|3
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A