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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Culturally Responsive Teaching for Heritage Language Learners

The ever increasing population of language learners in the classroom has presented numerous challenges for educators who feel unprepared to teach students of diverse cultural backgrounds. Such challenges brings upon a need for curriculum changes and profesional development based on teaching heritage language learners. Teaching in a culturally responsive manner has proven affective for such learners. According to Alarcón (2010), “foreign language instructors have not been trained to deal with these bilingual learners, and HL speakers have not had their particular needs addressed” (p.269). This research paper explores the challenges teachers face when teaching Spanish heritage language learners, the importance of pre-service training, and the importance of involving students culture into the curriculum. The information collected for this research paper is based on educators in a dual language charter school. The teachers all employ various positions in the school including content based educators, English language arts educators and paraprofesionals. The teachers share their experiences and opinions on the following questions: What pre-service training have you had to prepare you to teach heritage language learners? What courses do you teach that include Spanish heritage learners? How much do you incorporate students culture in your curriculum and teaching? The result of this research paper aims to prove the importance of better preparing teachers during pre-service programs to fit the specific needs of HL and education today. All teachers will benefit from the research of heritage language learners and the importance of integrating culture into their education. Strategies presented are practical and effective in all classrooms.

Presenters: Jaclyn Flores (Suny Brockport) --
Jaclyn Flores (Suny Brockport) --
Topic: Language & Education - Panel
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 2:30 pm (Session III)