Understanding the inheritors: The perception of beginning level students toward their Spanish as a Heritage Language program
Keywords:IDENTITY, HERITAGE LANGUAGE EDUCATION, LANGUAGE ATTITUDES, CURRICULUM DESIGN, COMMUNITY-BASED LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION
How do students perceive their Spanish as a Heritage Language (SHL) program at a large southwestern university? Student perceptions of their language classes may be linked to affective needs and motivation (Tse, 2000) and a resolution of the potential mismatch between the perceptions of educators and students can lead to greater engagement and student satisfaction (Beaudrie, 2015). This study reports on the perspective of beginning-level students in 35 interviews conducted by the authors in order to gain insight into how participants conceive of the SHL program. The findings show that the participants respond positively to and comprehend the value of a pedagogical approach that values students’ home varieties. They also recognize both the social importance and pedagogical potential of exploring bilingual community practices, such as code-switching. The findings support an approach that fosters engagement with the participants’ speech communities as a valuable source of linguistic and cultural input.
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Copyright (c) 2015 Damián Vergara Wilson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.