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Issues in Heritage Language Learning in the United States

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Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)

Abstract

This chapter traces the history of this latest field of language education from its inception, when the number of heritage languages taught at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels was very small, through to the present when new immigrant languages have also become the focus of research and ASL and Native American languages are included in the roster of heritage languages. “Issues in Heritage Language Learning in the United States” reports on the major contributions in research, publications, and curriculum development, and it proposes an ongoing research agenda to include the issues, endeavors, and solutions shared internationally. To deconstruct the influence of demographic changes and the planning challenges they present to administrators is an imperative for the field. Other issues such as the metric for evaluating growth in heritage language proficiency, identity, curriculum and assessment, ties with heritage communities, and questions of education policy are of ongoing importance.

Keywords

  • Heritage Language curriculum development
  • Heritage language demographics
  • Heritage Language history
  • Heritage Language policy
  • Heritage Language research
  • Heritage Language teaching
  • Heritage learner assessment
  • Heritage learner definition
  • Heritage learner identity
  • Heritage learner motivation
  • Heritage learner placement

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Correspondence to Olga Kagan or Kathleen Dillon .

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Kagan, O., Dillon, K. (2017). Issues in Heritage Language Learning in the United States. In: Van Deusen-Scholl, N., May, S. (eds) Second and Foreign Language Education. Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02246-8_3

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