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ERIC Number: EJ1102642
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Inquiry-Based Projects in the Spanish Heritage Language Classroom: Connecting Culture and Community through Research
Belpoliti, Flavia; Fairclough, Marta
Hispania, v99 n2 p258-273 Jun 2016
This study presents the development and implementation of inquiry-based cultural projects in a Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) Program. Four different inquiry-based curricula are described to illustrate how university students in an SHL program advance their knowledge of Spanish while carrying out research to understand Hispanic cultures. First-, second-, and third-year students conducted research utilizing different tools, including the Internet, surveys, interviews, and field data collection. They sought out and analyzed materials related to particular cultural expressions and became familiar with perspectives, products, and practices influencing the development of Hispanic cultures in the Houston area. The scaffolding of these projects from their immediate family context to the broader community allowed students gradually to expand their connection to and appreciation of their home culture while advancing their heritage language skills. By the end of each SHL course, students were able to articulate their research findings in written and oral presentations requiring increasing levels of linguistic proficiency. This study exemplifies a comprehensive approach to heritage language teaching integrating community engagement, cultural perspectives, and literacy, and can serve as a pedagogical model for heritage language programs elsewhere.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas (Houston)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A