Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Research and Practice in Heritage Language Education

Part of the series Springer International Handbooks of Education pp 1-21

Date: Latest Version

Heritage Language Speakers in the University Classroom, Doing Research

  • Naomi NagyAffiliated withLinguistics Department, University of Toronto Email author 


This chapter describes the design and goals of a first-year undergraduate course that introduces students to research in heritage languages. The course illustrates a means of increasing pedagogical activity related to heritage languages at the university level. The benefits to students, faculty, and the community of engaging students in disciplinary practices in the field of sociolinguistics are noted. The integration of pedagogy and research is articulated around five goals: to train students in aspects of research including fieldwork and analysis, to develop information literacy, to provide opportunities for transactional writing, to connect research and teaching, and to encourage students, especially students who are speakers of minority languages, to get involved in research. While the course has been offered in the context of a large research-oriented university that encourages undergraduate involvement in research, resources are offered so that aspects of the course may be adapted to situations which share only some features of the context in which it was developed.


Pedagogical approaches Student researchers Information literacy Transactional writing Authentic disciplinary practices