Experiences of heritage language learners and their instructor in a seconday Spanish II class

Date

2023-5

Authors

Carrillo, Pamela Clarissa

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

DOI

Abstract

This study was designed based on my own experience as a Spanish language student, a Spanish language teacher and inspired by my research for my Master’s degree thesis. During the research period of my Master’s degree thesis, I learned that students who have some degree of background in the language they are studying are called Heritage Language Learners (HLLs). HLLs are individuals who appear in foreign language classrooms, who are raised in homes where a non-English language is spoken, speak or merely understand the Heritage Language (HL), and are to some degree bilingual in English and the HL. My own experience as an HLL was important but I wanted to learn about the 21st century experiences of HLLs. I wanted to use their voices and perspectives to help educational systems better understand how to meet their needs. The purpose of this study was to explore and examine the experiences of seven Heritage Language Learners (HLLs) and their instructor in a second-year Spanish class. The study involved describing and explaining how the Spanish language fluency of HLLs affected the learner and the instructor. First, the study provided examples of how the prior experiences of the HLLs with the Spanish language affected the instructional methods of the Spanish language classroom teacher in a class of both HLLs and Second Language Learners (SLLs). Second, this study provided information that will assist teachers, educators, and policy makers in the development of courses designed specifically to meet the needs of the HLLs. Results from the study will be helpful to administrators and school boards in the planning of courses that assist with the preservation of the HL through programs for literacy, pedagogy, identity, linguistics, policy, language acquisition, and education. The qualitative methodological framework of Interpretivism guided this study. Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP) was used as the substantive theoretical framework. Since the goal of this study was to understand the HLLs and instructor’s experiences in the classroom, an Interview Study approach was appropriate as the method. An interview method approach was used as the method for this study. The findings of this study, presented in Chapter 4, included information from the Focus Group Interviews, Teacher Interview and Classroom Observation presented as they were related to the research questions. Student and teacher participants revealed how: the Spanish language has helped build their family relationships; learning Spanish before enrolling in this class and differentiating between the Spanish they learned in school, learned from their families and the Spanish their friends’ families speak; the fears they have of being judged and of being made fun of when speaking Spanish; and whether student placement in classes becomes segregated naturally, due to socio-economics or randomly.

Description

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY in CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Keywords

bilingual, heritage language learners, language other than English, Spanish language education

Sponsorship

Rights:

This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with its source. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the author and/or publisher., This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with its source. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the author and/or publisher.

Citation

Collections