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ERIC Number: EJ844980
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1550-7076
Voices from the Margin: Developing a Profile of Chinese Heritage Language Learners in the FL Classroom
Weger-Guntharp, Heather
Heritage Language Journal, v4 n1 p29-46 Fall 2006
While defining a heritage language (HL) learner is problematic, it is critical for how HL issues are framed. Underrepresented in the discussion are those learners who identify the HL as key to their development of self identity while having limited exposure to the HL in the home environment. This study investigates such students in the context of first semester Chinese classes at a U.S. university and draws on theories of motivation, HL learning, and social identity. Results suggest that a learner's heritage is an important factor in that it affects the construction of a language learner's identity and the co-construction of motivation, and influences attitudes towards classroom activities. The study found that the complexity of individual backgrounds problematizes the identification of HL learners based on their home-language use or place of birth. Finally, the data reveal a HL learner classroom profile consisting of at least three interwoven components (self, teacher, and peer). (Contains 1 table.)
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
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A