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ERIC Number: EJ844970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Beginning Level University Heritage Programs: Creating a Space for All Heritage Language Learners
Beaudrie, Sara; Ducar, Cynthia
Heritage Language Journal, v3 n1 p1-26 Fall 2005
This paper addresses beginning level Spanish heritage language (SHL) learners' attitudes towards their language and culture. Heritage language (HL) programs and research have often overlooked beginning level learners, especially within university settings. The current study involved 20 participants from a beginning level SHL class in the Southwestern United States. Participants completed a lengthy survey addressing the issues of language contact, language attitudes and linguistic behaviors. Follow-up interviews were also conducted. The results observed confirm previous research. The majority of students seldom use Spanish with parents, grandparents or relatives (79%); however, their responses indicate they are frequently surrounded by Spanish, with ample opportunities to overhear the language. Student goals include overcoming a lack of confidence in Spanish as well as a desire to improve fluency. Students' answers demonstrate a high degree of motivation to study Spanish. Our results attest to the fact that the specific needs, attitudes, and rich cultural background of the Southwest's beginning heritage students parallel those of more advanced students in this region in university HL programs, indicating a need to create a space for these students within such programs. We conclude our paper with pedagogical guidelines based on our results and specifically tailored to this population of students. (Contains 4 tables and 1 note.)
National Heritage Language Resource Center and UC Consortium for Language Learning & Teaching. 1333 Rolfe Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1411. Tel: 310-825-1138; Fax: 310-206-5183; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona