This is an online ACTFL webinar I delivered in 2015 about what it means and why it's important to be a sociolinguistically informed teacher of heritage speakers.
I am a Professor of Hispanic linguistics in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am also a faculty affiliate in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and in the Social Justice Initiative. I am also the founding director of the Language in Context Research Group.
Since 2009 I've served as Executive Editor of the journal Spanish in Context.
Most broadly, I am interested in the promotion of minority languages and multilingualism, particularly via elementary schooling. My work focuses on Spanish in the United States, including factors that influence intergenerational language transmission, connections between language and identity, and heritage language education. Some of my recent research topics include:
* Language development in dual immersion schools
* Mexican and Puerto Rican Spanish in Chicago, and the language and identity of mixed “Mexi-Rican” individuals
* Teaching heritage languages, particularly Spanish in the U.S.
* Spanish use in Chicago quinceañera celebrations
* The use of “Spanglish” in commercially published greeting cards
I was a Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago during 2012-2013. Here is the paper I delievered.
The Instituto Cervantes has created a marvellous website where they've uploaded numerous video conferences about various issues related to the teaching of Spanish. My discussion with Dr. Ofelia García about teaching Spanish in the U.S. is available at the link below.
Why do heritage speakers need a separate Spanish course? What are some of the linguistic, affective, and academic considerations that educators should keep in mind? This is the talk I gave at Lake Forest College, IL, in September 2013.