SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION    AND SPANISH HERITAGE     LANGUAGE SPEAKERSNICOLÁS ARNAL, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
WHO ARE HERITAGE LANGUAGE         SPEAKERS (HLS)?• Linguistic minority and bilingual students are   motivated by:- languag...
GOAL OF HLS CLASSES•   Encourage language maintenance•   Acquire knowledge of „standard‟ language•   Empower use of lingui...
IN THE CLASSROOM•   Natural Approach•   Communicative Language Teaching•   Constructivist instruction•   Content-based lan...
CRITICAL PEDAGOGY• HLS come with linguistic ability and use various  communicative strategies:- code-switching- “Spanglish...
SOCIO-CULTURAL THEORY• Communicative competence learned throughout  the lifespan• From content to concept-based instructio...
ACTIVITIES FOR HLS STUDENTSWRITING:• Process writing with use of English in drafts (to promote  fluidity in writing).• Com...
CONCLUSION• Teaching Spanish to heritage speakers secures the  important role of minority languages:    “Knowledge is flui...
CONCLUSION• The teaching of Spanish to heritage speakers  reinforces bilingualism as an asset to student‟s lives  and to t...
REFERENCESLantolf, James P., & Poehner, Mathew E. (Eds.). (2008). Sociocultural Theory and  the Teaching of Second Languag...
SPECIAL THANKS!Monica Mulholland, Spanish Professor,     George Mason University   Eva Sanchez, Spanish Teacher,    Washin...
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Second language acquisition and heritage language speakers

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  • According to Potowski (2005), Spanish heritage students are often discouraged from bilingualism by predominating cultural mainstream. Carreira (2004) notes that HLS’s motivation consists of “connecting with family, participating more fully in the community, preserving one’s culture and cultural practices, getting over the feeling of being a stranger in one’s own ethnic group and using Spanish in a professional context” (Carreira 2005, as cited in Potowski 2005). {Bullet point 1} In this sense, students are motivated by language maintenance and cultural survival.{Bullet point 2} Heritage speakers are fluent speakers depending on how much language contact they have (for example, a student may be 1st generation Latinos or 3rd generation Latinos. A class with heritage speakers may share a common heritage but differentiation is needed for cultural and linguistic backgrounds.{Bullet point 3- read} {Bullet point 4} Heritage speakers commonly grapple with retaining more information than they are able to articulate and while they may be strong in listening and speaking, often have difficulty in reading and writing.
  • Goals are:{Bullet point 1} To use the study of Spanish to fend off language loss when native language not practiced at home (language maintenance).{Bullet point 2} Identify the products, perspectives and practices of a culture, particularly how a language is a product of culture. Show the history behind what makes one’s language variety ”standard” and how some standards are favored over others encourages critical thinking.{Bullet point 3} It is necessary to empower students to use Spanish as a socio-political tool for achieving a sense of identity and to use their own linguistic varieties in a meaningful context. {Bullet point 4} Promote bilingualism to encourage students to preserve their linguistic backgrounds and encourage cross over between English and Spanish in regards to content knowledge.{Bullet point 5} Heritage language speakers are encouraged to interact and collaborate in real world contexts through the development of reading and writing skills.{Bullet point 6} Motivating students through culturally-responsive content brings about meaningful communication.
  • Intheclassroom, a heritagelanguageclassischaracterizedbythefollowingapproaches and qualities:-{Bulletpoint 1} In the natural approach, comprehensible input isprovidedthroughpractice in the target languagebyexposingstudentstoinformationthatisslightlyabovetheircomfortlevel and byteachingthrough a communicativecontextinstead of throughisolatedgrammarorovercorrection.-{Bulletpoint 2} Communicativelanguageteachingproposesthatlearningtakes place effectivelywhenstudents are theobject of communication.-{Bulletpoint 3} Constructivismholdsthatstudentsconstructknowledgeindependentlybyusing pre-existingbackgroundknowledge. -{Bulletpoint 4}- Content-basedlanguageteachingholdsthatmeaningfulcommunicationisgrounded in learningcontentsuch as literature, math and science in orderto bridge and reinforcelinguistic and conceptual content. {Bulletpoint 5}- Code-switchingiscommonplace and facilitatesthecommunication of concepts and linguisticnorms.{Bulletpoint 6}- Bilingualismis a product of heritagelanguageclassroomsbecausestudent’slinguisticknowledge in onelanguagecomplementsknowledge in another, secondlanguage. Bi-literacyiswhenacademiclanguageislearned in bothlanguagesequally, balancingstudent’scontentlearning in bothlanguages, and emphasizingtheimportance of bothlanguages as importantacademic and social tools.{Bulletpoint 7}- Home-schoolcooperationisnecessary so thatparents can supportstudents’ communication in theminoritylanguage.
  • {Bullet point 1}- Students are not a blank slate and come to class with “funds of knowledge”, ideas, and strategies (i.e.: code-switching). {Bullet point 2}- Linguistic self-esteem: Students must realize Spanish has varieties used in different real-world contexts. {Bullet point 3}- According to Potowski (2005), students must reflect on how they came to where they are, linguistically and culturally. This includes a knowledge of: ethnicity, origins of Spanish language, racial identity and the way standard languages are contrasted with linguistic varieties which they speak or are in contact with in their communities.
  • {Bulletpoint 1 and 2}- Itissometimesnotedthatheritagelanguagespeakerswho are linguisticminorities do nothavethenecessarycompetence in eithertheirnativelanguage (in this case, Spanish), ortheirsecondlanguage (English). However, giventhedifficulttask of reinforcingbothlanguages, heritagelanguagespeakerscannot be expectedto be abletodiscernwhichlanguagewill be of more use tothem. As languageminroties, theymaynot come across as proficient, howeverthisisdueto a lack of linguisticself-esteemorthefactthatbilingualismisnotsufficientlyemphasized. Pedagogically, a learner’s social context and background determines whetherornot a studentwill relate towhatthey are learning. Itisunfairtoattributethelack of proficiencywitheitherlanguagetosocioeconomicfactors. Instead, studentstakeresponsibilityforwhatthey are learningwhenwhatthey are learningisreinforced in theirsociolinguisticcommunity and vice versa. In thissense, communicativecompetenceisachievedwhenthesubject at handispractical, meaningful, and real world. {Bulletpoint 2}-Thisdependsonthedelivery of lessons in whichcontentknowledgeisreinforcedbycommunicatingconceptssuch as in science, that lead ustoexplain a view of life and theworldaroundus. In sociocultural theorythereis a dichotomybetweenthemind and theworld, anageolddualism in modernphilosophy and later in psychology. However, manythinkers and latereducationaltheoristssuch as Vygotsky cametoknowthisdualism as part of thedevelopment of consciousness as seen in learningprocesses. No only do peoplelearnabouttheworldthrougheachotherbutthroughapplyingwhattheylearn in waysthat are reinforced in practical, pragmaticways. Thusthezone of proximal development in whichstudentslearnfromeachother’sdifferentlevels of communicative and academicabilitiesisseen, instead, as a zone of potentialdevelopmentwhertheself and worlddualismisunified. {Bulletpoint 4}- Theabilitytorespondtoculturallymediatedknowledgeisincreasinglyseen as a betterindicator of intelligencethan IQ. {Bulletpoint 5 and 6}- Beingabletocommunicate in a secondlanguageshouldnot be contigentupon use of conventionsor “linguisticnorms” butonbeingabletorecognizelinguisticnorms in aninformedway. In thissense, affectplays a role in achievingcommunicativecompetence.
  • Second language acquisition and heritage language speakers

    1. 1. SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND SPANISH HERITAGE LANGUAGE SPEAKERSNICOLÁS ARNAL, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
    2. 2. WHO ARE HERITAGE LANGUAGE SPEAKERS (HLS)?• Linguistic minority and bilingual students are motivated by:- language maintenance- cultural survival• Share a similar heritage and are fluent or 1st- 3rd generation native speakers• Have more RECEPTIVE than EXPRESSIVE abilities• Often show fluency in listening and speaking but have not developed their reading and writing.
    3. 3. GOAL OF HLS CLASSES• Encourage language maintenance• Acquire knowledge of „standard‟ language• Empower use of linguistic varieties• Build a bilingual knowledge-base• Strengthen reading and writing skills• Develop cultural awareness (Valdez, 2007)
    4. 4. IN THE CLASSROOM• Natural Approach• Communicative Language Teaching• Constructivist instruction• Content-based language approaches• Code-switching• Bilingualism and bi-literacy• Home-school cooperation
    5. 5. CRITICAL PEDAGOGY• HLS come with linguistic ability and use various communicative strategies:- code-switching- “Spanglish”- borrowing from other languages- direct translation- Circumlocution- Affective + academic needs= “linguistic self- esteem” (Potowski, p.32)• Reflection on linguistic identity
    6. 6. SOCIO-CULTURAL THEORY• Communicative competence learned throughout the lifespan• From content to concept-based instruction• Zone of Proximal or “Potential” Development• Mediation• Good judgment to not impose „linguistic norms‟• Affect and communicative competence (Lantoff & Poehner, 2008)
    7. 7. ACTIVITIES FOR HLS STUDENTSWRITING:• Process writing with use of English in drafts (to promote fluidity in writing).• Comparing students lives with those of their grandparents (tracing their family history and heritage).READING:• Authentic texts such as literature, popular magazines, short stories, legends and poems.• Interpretation of photographs and newspaper articles.• Incorporating grammar into writing exercises. (Potowski, 2005)
    8. 8. CONCLUSION• Teaching Spanish to heritage speakers secures the important role of minority languages: “Knowledge is fluid, not fixed, collaborativelyconstructed rather than memorized. The sharing ofexperiences affirms students‟ identity, but essentially also involves critical inquiry to understand power, inequality, justice, and local social and economic realities”(Baker, 295)
    9. 9. CONCLUSION• The teaching of Spanish to heritage speakers reinforces bilingualism as an asset to student‟s lives and to the development of identity.• Students learn to use formal registers but trying to subordinate linguistic varieties, code-switching or Anglicisms for this purpose is ineffective.• “Native”, “Fluent” or “Heritage” speaker classes should revitalize the place of Spanish and bilingualism in students‟ lives, communities, and in content area learning.
    10. 10. REFERENCESLantolf, James P., & Poehner, Mathew E. (Eds.). (2008). Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages. London, UK: Equinox PublishersPotowski, Kim. (2005). Fundamentos de la enseñanza del español a hispanohablantes en los EE.UU. Madrid: Arco LibrosValdes, G. 1995. The teaching of minority languages as “foreign” languages: Predagogical and theoretical challenges. Modern Language Journal 70 (3): 2999-328.Baker, Colin. (2006). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. UK: Multilingual MattersValdez,, Guadalupe. (2008). Making Connections: Second Language Acquisition Research and Heritage Language Teaching. Salaberry, Rafael & Barbara A. Lafford (Eds.), The Art of Teaching Spanish: Second Language Acquisiton from Research to Praxis. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press
    11. 11. SPECIAL THANKS!Monica Mulholland, Spanish Professor, George Mason University Eva Sanchez, Spanish Teacher, Washington-Lee High School
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