Research on university-based Spanish heritage language programs in the United States: The current state of affairs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

83 Scopus citations


HERITAGE LANGUAGE EDUCATION in the United States currently enjoys the attention of a wide group of researchers, policymakers, administrators, and practitioners. There are the National Heritage Language Resource Center (at the University of California, Los Angeles), which is devoted to heritage language education and research; the Heritage Language Journal; the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages at the Center for Applied Linguistics; conferences and workshops devoted to heritage language issues; and many journal articles, books, and dissertations. This is a significant change from the 1970s, when Spanish heritage language (SHL) education began as a grassroots effort of concerned educators in public institutions who realized that traditional foreign language courses did not meet the needs of heritage language learners (Valdés, Lozano, and Garcia-Moya 1981).1 Unlike in countries such as Canada (Duff 2008) and Australia (Elder 2005, 2009), where heritage language instruction garnered early government support, the US government did not fund large-scale programs or provide other support to spearhead the teaching of heritage languages (Valdés, Lozano, and Garcia-Moya 1981), nor did many communities create Spanish language schools to maintain their language. In fact, some Latinos have objected to their children receiving bilingual education (Barnwell 2008).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpanish as a Heritage Language in the United States
Subtitle of host publicationThe State of the Field
PublisherGeorgetown University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781589019393
ISBN (Print)9781589019386
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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