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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Pedagogical Approaches for the Instruction of Spanish Heritage Language Learners

The population of today’s public schools is filled with a diversity of students from many different heritage and language backgrounds. A great number of these students are Spanish heritage language learners. According to Shuhan C. Wang and Maroea In. S. Garocea (2002, p. 2), “there is no one profile of ?Spanish? heritage language learners.” Some “are raised in homes where a non-English language is spoken.” Some “speak or merely understand the heritage language,” and some “are to some degree bilingual in English and the heritage language” (2002, p.2). Unfortunately, many college preparation programs and professional development programs do not adequately prepare educators to teach these children. This research paper explores pedagogical approaches found beneficial in the education of Spanish heritage language learners so teachers can better meet student needs. The information collected for this research paper is a review of pedagogical approaches for such learners found in professional literature articles and journals. The approaches were discovered through surveys, questionnaires, and interviews with both students and educators. The results of this research paper have several implications. First, this information can help in the development of appropriate curricula and instructional materials for heritage language learners. Second, it can be a useful guide of information for schools and educators on how to best serve such unique learners using specific strategies. Finally, this research can be useful in the development of teacher preparation programs that place a strong emphasis on heritage language learners.

Presenter: Megan Cooley (SUNY Brockport) --
Topic: Language & Education - Panel
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 2:15 am (Session III)