Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Heritage Language Learners: On the Brink of Language and Cultural Loss
by Trinidad-Sheahan, Cynthia, Ed.D., University of Colorado at Denver, 2019, 110; 13863327
Abstract (Summary)

There is difficulty in defining the profile of a Heritage Language Learner (HLL) due to the experiences with language that individuals face in their social and academic world. There are questions centered on whether a categorical distinction between the native speaker and the native user can be upheld; this is inherently problematic when there is a variability within a language group (Zyzik, 2016). Heritage language refers to a language that is part of an individual's culture or family. Heritage Language Learners (HLLs) can be individuals who have been surrounded, introduced or have attained some heritage language through their upbringing, either from dialogue at home or some instruction in school programming, though neither has supported reaching full proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. As a result, these adults may find themselves unable to use their heritage language for academic or professional purposes and may feel disconnected from their culture due to the lack of resources available to develop their heritage language. This qualitative study researched the experiences of Latino HLLs, who are in the field of education, it examined what types of supports a group of Latino HLLs received in school for the development of their heritage language and how those opportunities (or lack of opportunities) have affected them in their professional careers. The result of this study recommends authentic linguistic instruction for future HLL's that is within the theoretical framework of language socialization, which is purposeful linguistic instruction and use of the heritage language of Spanish.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anguiano, Ruben
Commitee: Boelle, Amy, Escamilla, Kathy
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Leadership for Educational Equity
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Secondary education
Keywords: Culture, Equity, Heritage, Language, Secondary
Publication Number: 13863327
ISBN: 978-1-392-22101-3
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