Spanish Heritage Language Development: A Causal-Comparative Study Exploring the Differential Effects of Heritage Versus Foreign Language Curriculum
AuthorBeaudrie, Sara Mariel
KeywordsHeritage language development
heritage language pedagogy
heritage versus foreign language curricula comparison
AdvisorAriew, Robert A.
Committee ChairAriew, Robert A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDual tracks - for Foreign (FL) and Heritage languages (HL) - in Spanish language programs are becoming increasingly common in U.S. higher education institutions, although most only offer HL courses for intermediate and/or advanced learners. Few universities have incorporated specialized courses for receptive bilinguals into their programs. Contradictory arguments can be found in the HL education literature regarding the type of curriculum (FL or HL) that would best serve the pedagogical needs of these students (Carreira, 2004; Lipski, 1996; Potowski, 2005).This study attempts to offer insights into this discussion by examining the effects of these two types of curricula on the written and oral language development of three groups of learners: two groups of HL learners enrolled in HL and FL courses, and a group of FL learners taking the same FL courses. The purpose of this study is four-fold: 1) delineate a profile of receptive bilinguals; 2) measure changes in oral and written production and other language-related variables after one semester of instruction; 3) examine the students' level of satisfaction with the language curriculum; and 4) uncover linguistic differences between FL and HL learners. The data collection consisted of series of written and oral-elicitation tasks and online questionnaires at the beginning and end of the semester.The results showed that all groups made significant gains in writing fluency and complexity but only the HL group in the HL course significantly improved their writing accuracy. Both HL groups made greater gains in oral fluency and complexity than the FL group but the HL group in the HL course outperformed both groups in syntactic complexity gains. The HL group in the HL course showed the highest level of satisfaction and the greatest improvement in self-confidence and language attitudes but no differences in language use outside the classroom and self-evaluation of language abilities. The results offer implications for the inclusion of receptive bilinguals in HL programs, their language placement, and pedagogical and curricular practices most suitable for these students in the HL classroom.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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