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ERIC Number: EJ931220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0008-4506
"She Really Only Speaks English": Positioning, Language Ideology, and Heritage Language Learners
Abdi, Klara
Canadian Modern Language Review, v67 n2 p161-190 May 2011
This article draws on data from an ethnographic multiple-case study on the identity, positioning, and interactions of Spanish as a heritage language (SHL) students in regular Canadian high school Spanish classes. Interview and classroom observational data are discursively analyzed to reveal the presence of a form of language ideology that equates displayed Spanish speaking ability with language proficiency and heritage. This type of language ideology particularly impacted how one SHL student, who was reluctant to speak Spanish, was positioned and treated in class in ways that not only did not acknowledge her Hispanic heritage or encourage the development of her oral skills, but also did not recognize the usefulness of her literacy skills. This article problematizes the assumptions that HL students are typically able (and willing) to speak their HL and that this ability is viewed as their most important asset in class. The article concludes with pedagogical implications and directions for future research. (Contains 1 table and 9 notes.)
University of Toronto Press. 5201 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T8, Canada. Tel: 416-667-7810; Fax: 800-221-9985; Fax: 416-667-7881; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Canada (Vancouver)