ArticlePDF Available

Critical Language Awareness (CLA) for Spanish Heritage Language Programs: Implementing a Complete Curriculum



Experts in the field have advocated for critical approaches to Spanish heritage language (HL) curricula in which learners’ proficiency in the language varieties that they bring from their homes and communities is considered as an asset and culturally valuable knowledge. The proposal described here focuses on the adoption of a programmatic perspective, one which promotes, over a longer period of time, the implementation of pedagogical practices that foster academic success and linguistic empowerment among heritage speakers in the classroom. This paper presents a critically-oriented six-course Spanish HL program which challenges the subordination of HL students’ linguistic practices and examines the practical implementation of CLA (Critical Language Awareness) pedagogies. Further, this article details results from a study on HL learners’ language attitudes as a first attempt to assess their sociolinguistic awareness. We hope that a detailed consideration of the design, implementation and preliminary evaluation of this innovative program can provide a model for other educators who seek to put critical pedagogies into practice.
Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
Download by: [] Date: 29 November 2017, At: 14:04
International Multilingual Research Journal
ISSN: 1931-3152 (Print) 1931-3160 (Online) Journal homepage:
Critical Language Awareness (CLA) for Spanish
Heritage Language Programs: Implementing a
Complete Curriculum
Claudia Holguín Mendoza
To cite this article:
Holguín Mendoza, Claudia (2018): Critical Language Awareness (CLA) for Spanish Heritage
Language Programs: Implementing a Complete Curriculum,
International Multilingual
Research Journal
, 12(2): 65-79. DOI: 10.1080/19313152.2017.1401445
To link to this article:
Critical Language Awareness (CLA) for Spanish Heritage Language
Programs: Implementing a Complete Curriculum
Claudia Holguín Mendoza
Department of Romance Languages, University of Oregon
Experts in the field have advocated for critical approaches to Spanish
heritage language (HL) curricula in which learnersproficiency in the lan-
guage varieties that they bring from their homes and communities is
considered an asset and culturally valuable knowledge. The proposal
described here focuses on the adoption of a programmatic perspective,
one that promotes, over a longer period of time, the implementation of
pedagogical practices that foster academic success and linguistic empow-
erment among heritage speakers in the classroom. This article presents a
critically oriented six-course Spanish HL program that challenges the sub-
ordination of HL studentslinguistic practices and examines the practical
implementation of CLA (Critical Language Awareness) pedagogies. Further,
this article details results from a study on HL learnerslanguage attitudes as
a first attempt to assess their sociolinguistic awareness. We hope that a
detailed consideration of the design, implementation, and preliminary eva-
luation of this innovative program can provide a model for other educators
who seek to put critical pedagogies into practice.
Critical pedagogies; curricula
development; language
awareness; Spanish heritage
Scholars of Spanish language pedagogy have made substantial progress in our understanding of the
issues and challenges facing heritage language (HL) speakersthat is, students who grew up speak-
ing Spanish at home or in communities where Spanish is a minority language (Beaudrie, Ducar, &
Potowski, 2014; Beaudrie & Fairclough, 2012; Carreira, 2004; Colombi, 2009; Leeman, Rabin, &
Román-Mendoza, 2011; Potowski & Carreira, 2004;, Potowski, 2012; Silva-Corvalán, 1994; Villa,
1996; Valdés, 1997). These students may speak stigmatized varieties of Spanish and/or engage in
translingual practices due to contact with English, and they may not have had the opportunity to
develop literacy in Spanish (García, 1993,2015; García & Wei, 2014). Numerous scholars and
educators have argued that in U.S. universities, traditional Spanish language pedagogy has left
heritage speakers deeply alienated and disempowered; as a result, they urge the creation of curricula
that address the needs of HL students (García, 1993; Sayer, 2013; Zentella, 2002). This alienation is
likely related to the fact that HL learners of Spanish are often taught according to a deficit-based
approach, in which varieties of Spanish that differ from a standard are treated as needing correction
or eradication(Martínez & Schwartz, 2012, p. 37; see also Valdés, González, García, López, &
Márquez, 2003). In light of these documented experiences of alienation and disempowerment,
experts in the field have argued for critical approaches to Spanish HL language curricula in which
Spanish HL learnersproficiency in their language varieties that they bring from their homes and
communities is considered as an asset and culturally valuable knowledge (Leeman, 2005; Leeman
et al., 2011; Leeman & Serafini, 2016; Martínez & Schwartz, 2012). However, the proposal we outline
in this study focuses on the adoption of a programmatic perspective, one that promotes, over a
CONTACT Claudia Holguín Mendoza 102 Friendly Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
longer period of time, the implementation of pedagogical practices that foster academic success and
linguistic empowerment among heritage speakers in the classroom.
This article presents a critically oriented six-course Spanish HL program that challenges the
subordination of HL studentslinguistic practices. Building on sociolinguistic variation (Beaudrie
et al., 2014; Leeman & Serafini, 2016), stylistic sociopragmatic variation (see Holguín Mendoza,
2011), and critical language awareness (CLA) approaches to Spanish HL education (Leeman, 2005,
2014; Leeman & Martínez, 2007; Martínez, 2003; see also Fairclough, 1995), our proposed program
supports the conviction that if we are committed to HL speakersacademic and professional success,
and to their right to exercise agency in the use of their own language, then we must invest in
building intellectual, cultural, sociopolitical trust and solidarity with these students (Leeman et al.,
2011; Leeman, 2005; Potowski, 2012; Rivera-Mills, 2012; Villa & Rivera-Mills, 2009).
The goal of this article is to examine the practical implementation of the theoretical
approaches to CLA pedagogies in a Spanish HL program in a public institution of higher
education in the Pacific Northwest. To this end, I first review some of the most salient literature
relevant to critical pedagogies in the field of Spanish HL instruction. I then move on to analyze
how this particular Spanish HL program has implemented a complete curriculum whose compo-
nents and impact extend beyond mere isolated activities. To explore the effects of this program
on studentsdevelopment of CLA, I also include a discussion of the results of a study on these
same studentslanguage attitudes as a first attempt to assess their attitudes and awareness. It is
my hope that a detailed consideration of the design, implementation, and preliminary evaluation
of this innovative program can provide a model for other educators seeking to put these kinds of
critical pedagogies into practice.
Critical pedagogy and CLA in Spanish HL programs
Much of the theoretical work in CLA for Spanish heritage pedagogies was originally developed from
Critical Consciousness (Freire, 1973,1993). Another important influence is the research of Catherine
Walsh. In her essay regarding critical knowledge in Latin America, Walsh speaks about a political
conscience,the building of a collective sense of belonging,and an unlearning of what the
dominant society has inculcated and a relearning of past and present ancestral knowledge, a focus
on the social, political, and epistemic work that needs to be done within(2007, p. 231). Yet one of
the most influential works on critical approaches remains Norman Faircloughs(2007) research on
language and power in social structures, in which he considers how the oppressed can formulate
critical analyses to change their environments. This emphasis on the sociopolitical aspects of
language and social justice is what differentiates CLA from other noncritical approaches to language
awareness (Fairclough, 1995,2007) that focus either on the human capacity for self-awareness or on
metalinguistic knowledge.
Karmiloff-Smith, Grant, Sims, Jones, and Cuckle (1996) define metalinguistic awareness as a
conscious reflection on, analysis of, or intentional control over various aspects of language
phonology, semantics, morphosyntax, discourse, pragmaticsoutside the normal unconscious pro-
cesses of production or comprehension(p. 198). Metalinguistic knowledge can also include aware-
ness about which varieties and registers tend to occur in particular contexts or be spoken by
particular kinds of people. Within the field of Spanish HL education, some experts have argued
that language awareness can help learners avoid stigmatized forms in formal contexts (Gutiérrez,
1997). In contrast, however, critical approaches to language awareness require careful attention be
paid to the social and political aspects of language and language variation (Leeman, 2005,2014).
CLA demands that particular attention be paid to power and social dynamics that affect speakers of
Spanish in the United States (Zentella, 2002). According to Leeman (2005), CLA requires educators
and students to explore [languages] sociopolitical implications in the production of knowledge,
culture, and identities(p. 35). Leeman also underscores the importance of an intentional commit-
ment to social justice.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
Martínez (2003) describes the concept of dialect awareness and how it has become part of an
important discussion on heritage language pedagogy. He explains how some scholars have argued
for a socioculturally constructed dialectthat is not constrained to a single nation-state within the
Spanish-speaking world, while others have constructed more formal pedagogical approaches through
which syntax and lexical repertoires are measured (p. 2). Martínez advocates for a critical dialect
awareness grounded in the sociopolitical elements behind linguistic differences and hierarchies in
the classroom and in broader society (Villa, 2002). Given that they center on teaching linguistic
variation, Classroom Based Dialect Awareness (CBDA) programs are a central component of
Spanish HL pedagogies, and yet these program still remain uncommon (Martínez, 2003).
The Spanish HL program described here draws from both more-traditional metalinguistic
approaches as well as from the CLA and CBDA approaches advocated by both Leeman and
Martínez; this program seeks to help students develop their abilities to recognize and to reflect
upon different language uses. These languages uses include aspects of regional, class, generational
registers, and important distinctive stylistic variations (of various aspects of language, including
phonology, semantics, morphosyntax, discourse, and pragmatics) where the lines of the aforemen-
tioned classifications haze (Eckert & Rickford, 2001). Our proposed pedagogy includes sociolinguis-
tic and pragmatic awareness and competence in the language curricula. This includes not only
practical classroom activities and assignments but also rubrics and assessment methods that account
for the improvement of language awareness as an acquired skill as the main focus of our program.
The objective of the courses within this CLA curriculum is to deconstruct and question the socio-
political hierarchies toward the primary end of promoting our studentsvoices and agency (Leeman,
2005). This approach runs contrary to the established L2 pedagogies that have historically perpe-
tuated and legitimized dominant knowledge, thereby privileging hegemonic Eurocentric values and
power relations prevailing among class, race, ethnic, and gender categories (Ortiz, 2009). By placing
them at the center of our curricula, we aim to reinforce the value of our studentsown knowledge
and language (use) in order to promote alternative epistemological constructions.
First step: The professional development of teachers in CLA
Language educators and researchers have already challenged the hierarchical relationships between the
idealized and standardized English varieties that privilege monolinguals while relegating to a lower
class/category the many linguistic varieties of nonstandard contact language phenomena arising in
bilingual communities in the nation, particularly the case of Spanish in the United States (Leeman,
2012; MacGregor-Mendoza, 2000;Valdés,1998; Valdés at al., 2003;Zentella,2002). Yet Valdés et al.
(2003) have found a strong tendency for university-level instructors of Spanish to center their
pedagogical practices on a particular learning objectivenamely, the acquisition of a specific degree
of proficiency in a standardlanguage variety. They have found that we as instructors tend to
transmit, both directly and indirectly, an adherence to nationalist ideologies (one language, one nation)
and standardizing ideologies (commitment to linguistic purity and correctness); regardless of our
intentions, we bring our assumptions around the superior linguistic competence of monolingual
native speakersto our interactions with and evaluations of our students (p. 24). In recent years, a
fruitful discussion of these and other implicit language ideologies and their pedagogical implications
for heritage learners of Spanish is underway (e.g., Beaudrie & Fairclough, 2012).
Innovative models for the implementation of pedagogical practices that foster academic success
and linguistic empowerment among heritage speakers in the classroom are in increasing demand.
Even so, as of 2002 only 17.8% of 146 programs in language departments in higher education across
the United States offered separate courses for HL students (Ingold, Rivers, Tesser, & Ashby, 2002).
Beaudrie (2011) does report that in the U.S. Southwest there exists a prevalence of Spanish HL
programs, a reality that corresponds to the relatively higher proportion of Latino populations in
these universities. However, she also finds that these programs are still limited in relation to the
implementation of pedagogies that best serve HL students. In a similar vein, Potowski and Carreira
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
(2004) offer considerations of national standards for the teaching of Spanish as a heritage language;
they note several key elements for educators engaged in HL instruction. First, they highlight the need
for teachers to become knowledgeable about the processes underlying bilingualism and languages in
contact, sociolinguistic dynamics and the variation of Spanish in the United States, and their
studentscultural backgrounds and their relationships with Hispanic cultures. Potowski and
Carreira also offer information pertaining to particular programs in which teachers can obtain this
kind of training, including undergraduate and graduate certification programs at Hunter College in
New York City and courses at California State University at Long Beach, New Mexico State
University, Illinois State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, among other trainings
and online modules from the National Heritage Language Resource Center (Potowski & Carreira,
2004, p. 434). Potowski (2003) also outlines a model for preparing educators to work with Spanish
HL students in the Chicago area. This program, called the Chicago Heritage Language Teacher
Corps, provides teachers with training and professional development for teachers who work with HL
learners in the Chicago school districts. In their book Heritage Language Teaching: Research and
Practice, Beaudrie et al. (2014) also offer educators concrete pedagogical tools and information from
a sociolinguistic perspective related to teaching HL learners.
Despite these resources and awareness, the overarching challenge still resides in building an entire
unit of CLA-trained Spanish language teachers. In order to carry on this kind of training as
educators, we need to be willing to change our own attitudes about society and language and
ultimately to renew our pedagogical praxis. The very language we as teachers employ in the class-
room belies the underlying ideology of linguistic correctness: purity,”“native speaker,”“authentic,
and especially standard
are all markers not only of evaluation of competence but also of identity
construction. These indices of standard language ideology permeate every aspect of our program-
ming; even placement tests can reflect a negative evaluation of studentslanguage ability based on
knowledge and use of standard forms (MacGregor-Mendoza, 2010). These ideologies do not exist in
a vacuum, as monolingual speakers of English in the United States have come to accept, often
unconsciously, the privilege of assuming that monolingual, uniform English is the norm (Ellis, 2006;
Pavlenko, 2002). Within this framework, any variation from the standard, such as bilingualism,
represents not only a corruption of language but also an essential threat to the unity of the nation.
The value system privileging monolingual English use leaves its mark not only in the way English-
Spanish bilingualism has historically been regarded by English-speaking monolinguals in the United
States but also in the way it is regarded by bilinguals themselves (Lippi-Green, 1997).
For these reasons and others, before we implemented a new and complete CLA curriculum, I held
several brainstorming sessions and workshops for all instructors interested in teaching any Spanish HL
course. The result was the formation of a stable team of instructors, eventually called the SHL working
team, involved in conceptualizing and organizing these preliminary sessions and workshops. As the SHL
working team continued to develop, we decided to initiate a series of workshops designed especially for
instructors. We also held several reading and discussion groups, as well as regular meetings each term. In
the course of these meetings, we became aware that many of our own pedagogical practices perpetuated
hegemonic ideologies toward our students, most of them self-identified students of color and from
vulnerable communities, such as indigenous peoples from different regions of Latin America. We came
to the conclusion that we needed to build a strongunit of trained teachers who were willing to participate
in a continuous process of self-reflection and pedagogical revision; in other words, we realized that we
needed to become critically aware of our own sociolinguistic ideologies. Instructors had to commit to
several meetings per term as an integral part of their training. At some point during the first training
phase, we articulated our position that language is a social phenomenon and that we approach language
According to Davies (2003, p. 197), The native speaker is a fine myth: we need it as a model, a goal, almost an inspiration. But is
useless as a measure.Nevertheless, many language teachers as well as language learners and users seem to believe that a
native speaker is an individual who speaks a language perfectly. This is related to the belief/myth that every language has a
standardvariety, an educated and correctway of speaking.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
study in a manner that transcends linguistic hierarchies and false assumptions perpetuated by linguistic
ideologies of perfection and purity.
The implementation of this Spanish HL program has been, for the most part, a welcome initiative
in the department. After having taught Spanish for many years, many members of the faculty in this
department had identified the need to address and respond to the diverse pedagogical needs of the
many students who, unlike most of their Anglo peers, have learned Spanish at home or in their
communities. After consulting with several experts in the field, the department as a whole decided to
create a Spanish HL program. Since the creation of this program and throughout all the preliminary
training, the SHL working team has been supported by many faculty members inside and beyond the
department. On an internal level, the support of the head(s) of the department has been crucial to
our efforts. For example, we were able to propose the SHL-specific training, apply for grants to bring
in speakers for these training workshops, andmost importantlyopen new positions for a Spanish
Heritage Language Director program and Program Adviser. The Director of Language Instruction
(DLI), who himself happened to be an experienced linguist committed to finding and implementing
the best approaches for language instruction, has proven integral to fostering a supportive and
trusting intradepartmental community in which to create and build this program. With support
from the DLI, the SHL working team has been able not only to pilot innovative activities but also to
propose and create new courses fully framed in a CLA approach to Spanish language learning.
Moreover, we have had the support of many faculty members in other sectors across campus,
including Ethnic Studies, English, Education, the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and the Latino
Alliance (LA) group. Several SHL working team members have become members of the LA group,
which meets once a month with the goal of fostering collaboration and support for all the career,
academic, and cultural initiatives carried on for and by Latin@ students on campus and in the local
community. This collaboration has facilitated many connections that continue to support the
promotion, recruitment, and retention of students in our Spanish HL program. Overall, the active
participation and leadership of the SHL working team members in the LA group has been a crucial
component to developing a sustainable support network through which we are able to provide many
opportunities for mentorship to our students.
By establishing an ongoing partnership and by actively supporting and participating in the many
activities focused on Latin@ students on campus, students in the Spanish HL program have access to
many other campus opportunities, including mentorship and the development of knowledge to
navigate the institution. More importantly, the Spanish HL program faculty have engaged with a
variety of activities and sectors across campus and, as a result, maintain ongoing connections with
students who complete their courses in our program. In other words, the creation and maintenance
of these networks for student support have been crucial for the retention and graduation of Spanish
HL students. Most students in our HL program keep close relationships with the faculty members,
who write their letters of recommendation for grants, awards, and graduate programs. We continue
to foster and develop these relationships even when our students become alumni of the institution.
Second step: Building a resolute CLA curriculum
While the SHL working team was transforming its sociolinguistic ideologies with each CLA-based
training workshop and meeting, we were also investing in the development of new courses for the
Spanish HL program. The curriculum of these courses was established with a focus similar to what
Martínez (2003) calls Classroom Based Dialect Awareness (CBDA). Although Martínezs approach
embraces Wolframs model of linguistic variation implemented in some HL textbooks, which focuses
on linguistic differences in the way people speak, the CBDA model transcends this approach by
centering on both code and structure, on both reference and index in sociolinguistic variation . . .
because we believe that a full understanding of language variation must include a full understanding
of social power(p. 7). Martínez also maintains that the element missing in Wolframs model of
linguistic variation is the social framework that doesnt stop at answering the what of variation but
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
that proceeds to answer the why of variation as well(p. 7). By taking into account Martínezs CBDA
and Leemans CLA proposals, we began to base our own course objectives and topics around the
social framework of Heritage students at our institution. Toward this end, we became involved with
other sectors of the university serving Latin@ students, such as the LA mentioned previously, as well
as with student organizations such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), and
Mujeres (a Latina feminist student organization).
The Latin@ population at our university constitutes 9% of the total student population; reflecting
national tendencies, this number has more than doubled in the last five years, according to the
Universitys Office of the Registrar. More significantly, within the realm of higher education,
Spanish-English bilingualism is central to the lives and intellects of many of the Latin@ students
we teach. Yet within the entrenched paradigms that undergird our teaching of foreignlanguages
and literature in the humanities, and often despite our good intentions, these studentsbilingualism
is rejected or greeted with ambivalence. Our CLA program for HL students challenges the tendency
to pathologize bilingualism, approaching it instead as a completely normal characteristic of speakers
from all over the world. We find that in the present context of global interconnectedness, the
widespread phenomenon of bilingualism urges us to reexamine the assumptions that construct
monolingualism as normative. In the last half a century, large-scale social changessuch as mass
migrations from the global south toward the metropolitan centers of late capitalist wealth, as well as
more internal rural-to-urban migrationshave led to increased contact between languages and
cultures and, as a result, to greater degrees of bilingualism (Milroy & Muysken, 1995).
While building this new curriculum, our SHL team of instructors explored questions such as:
Are we to perpetuate the current acceptance of a pedagogical model that commodifies languages as
a global tool?(see Fairclough, 2006; Heller, 2003; Leeman & Martínez, 2007)orMight we instead
place value in linguistic dynamism and hybrid deterritorialization of languages?(see Pennycook,
2007). As an explicit learning outcome, our approacha new agreement with students that invites
them to bring their reflections about their own experiences to the classroomholds the ability to
practice the language skills involved in the manipulation of language in a wide array of different
social contexts in a more conscious manner. As many of us have already experienced, reflecting on
the social hierarchies and meanings embedded in the use of linguistic forms in the classroom lead to
new sociological and anthropological insights regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and class structures
in our own lives.
Leeman and Serafini (2016) have called for the incorporation of a sociolinguistics-based critical
approach to HL instruction
that stresses the social, political, and ideological dimensions of language as well as the need for socially
responsive pedagogies that incorporate studentsexperiences, promote equity both inside and outside the
classroom, and foster student agency in making linguistic (and other) choices. (p. 56; see also Leeman, 2014)
In this is way, beyond taking into account CLA and CBDA, we have also applied other theoretical
considerations in our program based on research on language awareness of sociolinguistic stylistic
and pragmatic variation (Holguín Mendoza, 2011). This latter theoretical approach considers Santa
Ana and Parodis(1998) model of nested speech-community configurations of language awareness.
Santa Ana and Parodis study offers a method for evaluating a speakers demonstrated recognition of
the social evaluations of linguistic variables based on observations in Mexican Spanish. Speakers have
different levels of access to variables of a dialect along the socioeconomic value continuum; they are
able to recognize and associate different levels of awareness of social meanings of words and other
linguistic forms. Our goal with our courses is that Spanish HL students are able to not only recognize
social stigmatization and stylistic weight of features but also understand how language is used as a
tool of discrimination/marginalization (Leeman, 2005). As a preliminary trial, we decided to base
many of the themes for our curricula on the analysis of stigmatized linguistic forms of Mexican
Spanish from ruraland urbanareas, which serve as a model for stigmatized forms in other
dialects as well. This theme for our curriculum development is relevant in that it has been shown
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
that in Mexico, people from rural areas and certain urban areas with high indices of internal
migration from the countryside are able to recognize words associated with taboo meaningsa
matter of register (Leeman, 2005, Leeman et al., 2011); however, they are not as aware when it comes
to recognizing the social meaning of words considered ruralor archaic,such as the word haiga
for instance (instead of haya [there is]) and ansina (instead of así [in this manner]), as people from
other more socioeconomic developed urban areas were (Santa Ana & Parodi, 1998; Holguín
Mendoza, 2011; see also; Aaron, 2009; Parodi, 2003).
Similar to Santa Ana and Parodis(1998) model while emphasizing the relevance of the social
meaning of linguistic forms (Eckert, 2008), Holguín Mendozas, (2011,2015), ethnographic studies
of bilingual youth on the U.S.-Mexico border corroborate the existence of nested fields of socio-
linguistic awareness. Moreover, Holguín Mendoza notes how this degree of metalinguistic awareness
of speakers incorporates multiple levels of awareness; words are semantically and pragmatically
multidimensional since they incorporate many sociopragmatic meanings at the level of the variable
and at the level of the different language styles used (2011). These styles can involve more than one
language, as in the case of bilingual speakers who code-switch from Spanish to English and vice versa
within a single conversation.
Our CLA curriculum includes the development of particular topics that involve forms such as
haiga and ansina, which students discuss in class. More importantly, we include activities, home-
work, and assignments where our students have the opportunity to reflect upon and understand why
each of these nondiscrete forms is used to discriminate against people in some sociopragmatic
contexts and to index solidarity in others. Each one of the linguistic styles analyzed in class includes
a follow-up discussion with the particular meanings these linguistics forms index, whether it be
social distinctione.g., labels or forms designating upper class, Whitenessor social discrimination
e.g., labels or forms designating working class, indigenous ethnicitydepending on the particular
sociopragmatic context and the intersubjective and cultural communicative needs of the speakers
(Escobar, 1997a,1997b; Holguín Mendoza, Shappeck, & Ciriza-Lope, 2016).
The topics embedded into our courses are based on concepts already well developed in socio-
linguistics and stylistic variation (see Irvine, 2001). These topics include not only the study of labels
such as Latin@ and Hispan@/Hispanic but also complex social markers (of marginalization or
solidarity, depending on the context) such as pocho”—someone who does not speak Spanish
welland prefers to speak English (Galindo, 1996, p. 10). To cover these and other related topics
in these courses, we have sought to identify and utilize many resources that are already available,
such as Spanish HL text books. Conversaciones Escritas (Potowski 2011), for instance, includes a
complete unit with a wide variety of activities designed to facilitate an in-class discussion of labels
including Latin@, Hispan@, and MexiRicans (pp. 5963). We have also followed reviews and
suggestions in relation to teaching materials and textbooks to identify embedded ideologies about
Spanish and its speakers in the United States (Leeman & Martínez, 2007). Additionally, we have
developed entire units that seek to deconstruct the origins of the Spanish language and to explore the
discourses around the social construction of the language as we understand it nowadays (see also Del
Valle & Gabriel-Stheeman, 2002).
A student who is able to develop this critical sociopragmatic language awareness should be better
equipped to use different language styles with proficiency in specific social settings and in accor-
dance with the effect the speaker aims to achieve among her/his interlocutors. In our particular CLA
Spanish HL program, we center our classes on developing this kind of critical sociopragmatic
language awareness and in fostering the power of agency for our students. We want to give them
the tools to make their own informed decisions about their language uses. To achieve this goal, we
had to transform our discourse as educators to create conceptions about language that correspond to
practices in the existing translingual communities (García, 1993; Beaudrie et al., 2014; see also
Carvalho, 2012;). As Leeman (2005) has suggested, instead of socializing our students into dominant
social and linguistic hierarchies, we have developed a program in which students can explore the
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
possibility of resisting both micro- and macro-level hierarchies which stigmatize those features, as
well as the potential for using stigmatized languages and varieties for possible effect(p. 41).
The curriculum development in place, we next applied this new awareness and knowledge to two CLA
higher-division pilot courses, SPAN 308 (Bilingual Communities), and SPAN 428 (Spanish
Sociolinguistics in the U.S.). After one year, the new Spanish HL program at this institution elected to
create two new lower-division courses (SPAN 218, 228) only for students who self-identify as Heritage
speakers of Spanish. We made the decision to open these courses only to self-identified HL speakers of
Spanish because we sought to foster at the outset of this program a welcoming space in which Spanish
Heritage students who do not test out of the basic language requirement at the university could continue
to develop their language proficiency in lower-division courses. The director of the university testing
center included the following question in the general Spanish placement test for L2 learners: Did you
grow up speaking Spanish at home?Using this self-disclosed information, we were then able to contact
and give information about our HL program to every student providing an affirmative answer. We also
utilized other well-known recruiting and promotional methods, such as fliers, public announcements,
and presentations. Since the first year of offering these lower-division courses for HL speakers, we have
been able to recruit enough students to open two sections of 218 and two of 228 each.
We carefully designed these courses based on the critical and sociopragmatic language awareness
methodologies described previously and that we had already implemented in the pilot courses 308
and 428. The important difference between these courses is that the original pilot classes were open
to all students, both L2 and HL, while the lower-division courses were only open to self-disclosed HL
speakers. We restrict the newer, lower-division courses to self-identified Spanish HL students
because in these courses we address not only HL studentsunique linguistic skills development
but also the need for mentorship, knowledge about campus resources, and academic support
available to minority and nontraditional students. We have found that because we integrated this
additional content on academic support services into our language classes, our students have not
only improved their communication skills in Spanish but also in English. Most importantly, they
have acquired crucial knowledge to be able to succeed in and graduate from college. To corroborate
the importance of this academic support, a student from SPAN 228 stated that:
[t]he heritage learner classes, as a whole, are an excellent opportunity for individuals who already have
experience with Spanish to expand on their fluency, confidence, and their cultural understanding of the
language. This is especially exciting for me, as I have a deep familial connection to the language. We all
deserve resources that reflect our needs so that we may each grow to our fullest potential.
While we acknowledge the challenges inherent to assessing the success of students from our
program, we have observed an increasing percentage of Spanish HL students in our majors and
minors since the opening of our HL courses four years ago. Currently, a third of the students in our
Spanish Major (32%) and Minor (30%) in the Department of Romance Languages are self-identified
Latino/aor Hispanic.Similarly, 23% of students in the Spanish Major and 17% of those who
completed a Minor come from our HL program. We know this pattern is not unique to our
institution and is consistent with national trends of growing Latin@ population in the United
States; nevertheless, we have observed that about 90% of the students in our basic HL 218 and
228 courses declare a minor or major in Spanish.
Moreover, since the first term in which we offered SPAN 308 and SPAN 428, our original pilot
courses, we have seen major success. This has been reflected in both CLA trained teachersevaluations
and in expanding enrollment in these courses. Given this early success and impact, we decided to further
develop our unique Spanish HL curriculum. Almost two years ago, we created another upper-division
advanced writing course (SPAN 312) open only to self-identified HL students. We offer two sections of
this writing course every term. We have also created another lower-divisioncourse, SPAN 248 (Spanglish
as a U.S. Speech Community), which is open to all students (L2 and HL). This particular class is offered
mainly in English, but it includes enough Spanish for more-receptive Spanish Heritage students and L2
students who have taken at least two years of Spanish in high school. This course fulfills some of the
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
universitys general education requirements at the same time as it introduces students to the critical study
of the Spanish language and discourse and encourages them to enroll in additional language courses in
the future.The course content explores language ideologies and power relations in the United States. The
intentional use of code-switching by the instructor and students in this course brings critical attention to
the delineation of appropriate domains for different language varieties . . . [which] serves to bolster the
hegemony of prestige varieties by socializing students to accept and reproduce dominant ideologies and
practices without critical analysis(Leeman, 2005).
The six CLA-based courses described here (218, 228, 248, 308, 312, and 428) constitute the core of
the Spanish HL program at our institution. However, as our entire curriculum is informed by the
aforementioned CLA-based approach, with a focus on sociopragmatic and stylistic variation aware-
ness as well as on student mentorship, the impact of these courses necessarily extend beyond the
classroom. By creating liaisons and collaborations with other faculty and staff members from the
general Spanish program, in addition to other sectors on campus devoted to supporting nontradi-
tional students, we have been able to create and promote CLA events on campusfor example,
relevant visiting speakers and artists such as Chican@ activist singers and the new and growing
initiative of the National Spanglish creative writing contest. Events such as these help to critically
expose neocolonial discourses and language uses in U.S. institutions of higher education and beyond.
Our goal is to continue to influence higher education pedagogies and networks of support at many
levels for HL and other nontraditional students at our institution. We want students not only to
develop language proficiency in Spanish but also to have a fulfilling college experience and a
successful professional career.
Third step: Assessment
By actively changing discourses around marginalized forms of language use, we aim to transform the
negative social meanings that both bilingualism and U.S. varieties of Spanish have acquired. In
particular, we seek to change the discourse that discourages the use of stigmatized linguistic forms in
Spanish such as those considered ruraland popular(Sánchez, 1983). We aim to counteract the
negative effects of such stigmatization on our heritage studentsself-esteem, confidence in their
intellectual abilities, and ultimately, their academic progress as a whole. Identifying an accurate
assessment tool for an innovative and multifaceted program such as ours has been a challenging task.
As a preliminary attempt, we developed a straightforward linguistic attitudinal survey for students in
our program. The study was based on a survey questionnaire of demographic data and the evalua-
tion of 30 sentences carrying stigmatized words of Mexican Spanish that are used in varieties of
Spanish spoken in the United States (Holguín Mendoza, 2011; see also García, 2005; Parodi, 1993;
Sánchez, 1983). These sentences are included in the appendix.
Students enrolled in two Spanish language classes (SPAN 218 and 228) in a single term completed
a survey assessing language attitudes both early in the term (n= 35) and again at the end of the term
(n= 31). Students were asked to respond to the 30 phrases with whether they were correct or
incorrect (correcto/incorrecto)
and whether the student would or would not say them that way (Yo
lo diría así/Yo NO lo diría así). The 30 phrases included words from adapted forms (e.g., porche
[porch]), nonadapted forms (e.g., shopping), vernacular forms (rural) (e.g., ansina [like]), caló/
slang (e.g., chales [no way]), and distractor standard words from different varieties of Spanish from
Latin America (e.g., comal [iron pan]). I predicted that studentsattitudes toward nonstandard forms
would become more inclusive and accepting after exposure to the class, resulting in a higher
proportion of forms judged correctin the survey completed at the end of each class compared
We decided to present students with the choice correct/incorrectin this study because we assumed that they had not been
previously exposed to linguistic concepts such as prescriptivismor descriptivism.In this way, students were presented with
this choice from a normalizedlinguistic assumption/myth regarding the existence of a more corrector incorrectway of
speaking. Their responses after taking one of our courses showed a change in their linguistic knowledge and awereness
regarding these myths.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
to at the beginning. Moreover, I expected a dramatic increase in the proportion of forms judged
correctfrom the beginning of 218 to the end of 228, thereby revealing an overall effect of
participation in the course sequence.
Quantitative analysis of the results
At the beginning and end of the term, 63 surveys were administered to and filled out by students
enrolled in SPAN 218 and 228, yielding four assessments total across the two classes (however, fewer
than 63 unique students contributed responses). Twenty-three of the first students to fill out the
survey at the beginning of the term seem to have misinterpreted the instructions and were excluded
from the analysis discussed here.
Surveys were completely anonymous to protect studentsprivacy and to encourage candid
responses. The fact that the data were de-identified means that individual studentsresponses
could not be linked over time, preventing a repeated measures or longitudinal analysis. Instead,
each set of responses (218 Time 1, 218 Time 2, 228 Time 1, 228 Time 2) was modeled as if drawn
from a separate population and the proportion of correctjudgments measured accordingly.
Differences in the proportion of correctjudgments were assessed using a χ2 test for equality of
proportions in the R statistical software (R Core Team, 2016).
Among the students who responded to the correct/incorrectquestion (N= 40), this increase
is apparent from 218 Time 1 to 228 Time 2, χ2(1) = 32.57, p< .001, and from Time 1 to Time 2
in 228, χ2(1) = 9.19, p= .002; yet the increase does not reach significance from Time 1 to Time 2
in 218, χ2(1) = 2.72, p= .099. Nonetheless, in general terms and as predicted, the proportion of
correctjudgments increased over time (see Figure 1).
Qualitative analysis of the assessment
After each phrase, students were also asked whether they would or would not say the phrase or word
that way (Yo lo diría así/Yo NO lo diría así) and to explain why they made this choice in an open-ended
Figure 1. Proportion correctand incorrectjudgments for students who responded to the correct/incorrect question for groups
SPAN 218 and 228.
As the outcome of interest is proportional to correctjudgments, which is dependent on the number of options available, and as
some students interpreted the question with more than two answers (corrector incorrectand I would say it like thator I
would not say it like that), the data from these two groups of respondents cannot be collapsed.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
question. Some of their answers are noteworthy. Students from 218, the first group of the sequence, who
answered the questionnaire the first time, clearly stated why they thought some of these forms were not
correct and why they would not say them like that. For instance, one student stated I would say mira
because my parents hated when we said ira.’” Another student marking the phrase containing the word
puchar (to push) as correct stated that she would not say it like that. She also added, este es como mi
papá habla(this is how my dad talks). Remarks such as these expose how students already come to
our classrooms with considerable experience and knowledge regarding a wide array of sociopragmatic
language uses and ideologies and among different generations. Lynch observes that several studies show
how students are in fact aware of different linguistic varieties and that this plays a crucial role in
studentsperceptions of the acquisition of standardforms (2012). In this studys comments from
students in our program, we are able to observe how some of the macrosocial linguistic attitudes and
awareness continue to influence studentslanguage choice.
Some students, on the other hand, offered in their open-ended responses some of the
arguments about CLA and language use discussed in class. For instance, one student stated
that People can speak however they want. Its all about translanguaging now which is 100%
appropriate & normal. Of course using more professionallanguage is advised in certain
settings.These kind of answers were more frequent the second time students from 228 answered
the survey. One student wrote regarding a phrase containing the adapted word mixearthat this
was prestamo lexico que hay en los E.E.U.U.,(lexical borrowing that exists in the U.S.).
Another stated si eres bilingue, es correcto(if you are bilingual, it is correct). This confirmed
to a certain degree that some of the studentschoices were probably influenced by the material
covered in class, regardless of whether or not they will maintain their attitudes or if they truly
conform their linguistic behaviors to these assertions. On a more confident note, we do believe
that the teaching curriculum in this CLA-based program has provided students with an oppor-
tunity to display their acts of resilience and agency more freely (Carreira & Beeman, 2014). This
can be observed in phrases from students in 228, expressed at the end of the course, such as Yo
lo diría así, es similar como mi familia habla español en un Spanglish(Iwouldsayitlikethat;
itslike my family speaks in Spanglish) or another one reflecting possible idealistic hopes about
language, Todos los formas en español son correctos y acceptable en mi libro(all forms in
Spanish are correct and acceptable in my book).
Nevertheless, we acknowledge that even without all of the limitations and errors of this
preliminary assessment research, an attitudinal study may not be the most accurate evaluation
instrument to measure the success of our program. At this time, we do not know of the
existence of a systematic way of assessing critical pedagogy-based courses, and this has been
an exploratory attempt. As a learning outcome from this study, we agree that it would be very
interesting to further explore the hypothesis thatby creating critical sociolinguistic awareness
about stigmatized wordsstudentsmaychangetheirattitudesbymarkingstigmatizedphrasesas
correctwhiletheycontinuetochoosenottosay them like that.This tension suggests the
possibility that even though we foster sociolinguistic and pragmatic awareness through a critical
and social justice-oriented approach among HL students, we may not be able to create the social
change that we expect and hope for in the long run. In other words, our students make their
own decisions in the end; even after becoming increasingly aware of language attitudes, ideol-
ogies, and stigmatization, our students may opt for the standard and abandon their vernacular
Moreover, for future evaluations of the program described here, we have considered other
measures of program evaluation related to student success. For instance, we would like to find out
precise information regarding the average of all HL students from our program who graduate with a
Spanish major or minor. We would also like to compile data about other academic and leadership
achievements that these students accomplish in other sectors across campus.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
We achieve critical metalinguistic awareness and sociopragmatic competence when we become
conscious of the choices we make in our uses of linguistic forms in particular social contexts and
when we understand the ideological underpinnings of our own language use as well as that of our
interlocutors. The ability to identify and to analyze language ideologies anchored in exclusionary or
elitist discourses and social practices is at the center of the Spanish as a HL curriculum we have
developed. The classroom becomes the laboratory in which these ideologies, discourses, and prac-
tices can and are encouraged to surface. In this way, instances of archaisms,”“ruralor urban
popularforms, code-switching, and other linguistic features common among HL speakers of
Spanish cease to be sources of shame and anxiety. Students can decide whether or not to use
these features in their own language uses based not on a fear of judgment or reprisal but on their
own experiences and aims in navigating the intersections of their own HL practices and those more
commonly used in L2 academic and professional settings.
By creating a curriculum that is centered on CLA, we aim to empower students to become aware
of their own language ideologies and to understand the social meanings of different linguistic
varieties in their communities of practice. In these ways and others, we prepare them to make
informed choices about their uses of language and to articulate how their linguistic decisions shape
and are shaped by social values that either perpetuate or resist oppressive structures. Our goal is to
create the conditions in which our students are able to build communicative competence and, more
importantly, to develop self-confidence and pride in the linguistic knowledge they already possess.
Ultimately, we find that these pedagogies have a positive effect on their overall academic experiences
and likely will serve them in their professional aspirations after college. Our next steps will be to
assess the extent to which these studentsexperiences in our courses translate into positive profes-
sional and personal outcomes in their lives.
Claudia Holguín Mendoza
Aaron, J. (2009). Coming back to life: From indicator to stereotype and a strange story of frequency. Journal of
Sociolinguistics,13(4), 472498. doi:10.1111/josl.2009.13.issue-4
Beaudrie, S. (2011). Spanish heritage language programs: A snapshot of current programs in the southwestern United
States. Foreign Language Annals,44(2), 321337. doi:10.1111/flan.2011.44.issue-2
Beaudrie, S., Ducar, C., & Potowski, K. (2014). Heritage language teaching: Research and practice. New York, NY:
McGraw-Hill Education Create.
Beaudrie, S., & Fairclough, M. A. (2012). Spanish as a heritage language in the United States: The state of the field.
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Carreira, M. (2004). Seeking explanatory adequacy: A dual approach to understanding the term Heritage Language
Learner.Heritage Language Journal,2(1), 125
Carreira, M., & Beeman, T. (2014). Voces: Latino students on life in the United States. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
Carvalho, A. M. (2012). Code-switching: From theoretical to pedagogical considerations. In S. M. Beaudrie & M. A.
Fairclough (Eds.), Spanish as a heritage language in the United States: The state of the field (pp. 139158).
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Colombi, M. (2009). A systemic functional approach to teaching Spanish for heritage speakers in the United States.
Linguistics and Education,20(1), 3949. doi:10.1016/j.linged.2009.01.004
Davies, A. (2003). The native speaker: Myth and reality. Toronto, ON: Multilingual Matters.
Del Valle, J., & Gabriel-Stheeman, L. (2002). The battle over Spanish between 1800 and 2000: Language ideologies and
Hispanic intellectuals. London, UK: Routledge.
Eckert, P. (2008). Variation and the indexical field. Journal of Sociolinguistics,12(4), 453476. doi:10.1111/j.1467-
Eckert, P., & Rickford, J. R. (Eds.). (2001). Style and sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
Ellis, E. (2006). Monolingualism: The unmarked case. Estudios de Sociolingüística: Linguas, Sociedades e Culturas,7(2),
Escobar, A. M. (1997a). From time to modality in Spanish in contact with Quechua. Hispanic Linguistics,9(1), 6499.
Escobar, A. M. (1997b). Contrastive and innovative uses of the present perfect and the preterite in Spanish in contact
with Quechua. Hispania: A Journal Devoted to the Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese,80(4), 859870. doi:10.2307/
Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London, UK/New York, NY: Longman.
Fairclough, N. (2006). Language and globalization. London, UK/New York, NY: Routledge.
Fairclough, N. (2007). Linguistic insights Discourse and contemporary social change. In N. Fairclough, G. Cortese & P.
Ardizzone (Eds.), Discourse and contemporary social change (pp. 2548). Bern: Peter Lang.
Freire, P. (1973). Education for critical consciousness. New York, NY: Seabury Press.
Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (30th anniversary ed.). New York, NY: Continuum.
Galindo, D. L. (1996). Language use and language attitudes: A study of border women. Bilingual Review,21(1), 517.
García, M. (2005). Influences of gypsy caló on contemporary Spanish slang. Hispania: A Journal Devoted to the
Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese,88(4), 800812. doi:10.2307/20063210
García, O. (1993). From Goya portraits to Goya beans: Elite traditions and popular streams in U.S. Spanish language
policy. Southwest Journal of Linguistics,12(12), 6986.
García, O. (2015). Translanguaging and abecedarios ilegales. In T. M. Kalmar (Ed.), Illegal alphabets and adult
biliteracy: Latino migrants crossing the linguistic border (2nd expanded ed., pp. 131136). New York, NY/London,
UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
García, O., & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. London, UK: Palgrave
Gutiérrez, J. (1997). Teaching Spanish as a heritage language: A case for language awareness. ADFL Bulletin,29(1), 33
36. doi:10.1632/adfl
Heller, M. (2003). Globalization, the new economy, and the commodification of language and identity. Journal of
Sociolinguistics,7(4), 473492. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9841.2003.00238.x
Holguín Mendoza, C. (2011). Language, gender, and identity construction: Sociolinguistic dynamics in the Borderlands.
Urbana-Champaign: University of Illinois.
Holguín Mendoza, C. (2015). Pragmatic functions and cultural communicative needs in the use of yyoand así(be
+ like) among Mexican bilingual youth. In Kim Potowski and Talia Bugel (Eds), Sociolinguistic change across the
Spanish-speaking world: Case studies in honor of Dr. Anna Maria Escobar (pp. 5792). Bern: Peter Lang.
Holguín Mendoza, C., Shappeck, M., & Ciriza-Lope, M. (2016). Vuelta en el español ecuatoriano y así en el español
fronterizo mexicano: Usos subjetivos e intersubjetivos. Journal of Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics,9(2), 299
Ingold, C., Rivers, C., Tesser, E., & Ashby, E. (2002). Report on the NFLC/AATSP survey of Spanish language
programs for native speakers. Hispania,85, 324329. 10.2307/4141093
Irvine, J. (2001). Styleas distinctiveness: The culture and ideology of linguistic differentiation. In P. Eckert & J. R.
Rickford (Eds.), Style and sociolinguistic variation (pp. 2143). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Karmiloff-Smith, A., Grant, J., Sims, K., Jones, M.-C., & Cuckle, P. (1996). Rethinking metalinguistic awareness:
Representing and accessing knowledge about what counts as a word. Cognition, 58(2), 197219. doi:10.1016/0010-
Leeman, J. (2005). Engaging critical pedagogy: Spanish for native speakers. Foreign Language Annals,38(1), 3545.
Leeman, J. (2012). Investigating language ideologies in Spanish as a heritage language. In M. Fairclough & S. Beaudrie
(Eds.), Spanish as a heritage language in the United States: The state of the field (pp. 4359). Washington, DC:
Georgetown University Press.
Leeman, J. (2014) Critical approaches to the teaching of Spanish as a local-foreign language. In M. Lacorte (Ed.), The
handbook of hispanic applied linguistics (pp. 275292). New York, NY: Routledge.
Leeman, J., & Martínez, G. (2007). From identity to commodity: Discourses of Spanish in heritage language textbooks.
Critical Inquiry in Language Studies,4(1), 3536. doi:10.1080/15427580701340741
Leeman, J., Rabin, L., & Roman-Mendoza, E. (2011). Identity and activism in heritage language education. Modern
Language Journal,95(4), 481495. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01237.x
Leeman, J., & Serafini, E. (2016). Sociolinguistics and heritage language education: A model for promoting critical
translingual competence. In M. Fairclough & S. Beaudrie (Eds.), Spanish as a heritage language in the United States:
The state of the field (pp. 5679). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Lipi-Green, R. (1997). English with an accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States. London,
UK/New York, NY: Routledge.
Lynch, A. (2012). Key concepts for theorizing Spanish as a heritage language. In M. Fairclough & S. Beaudrie (Eds.),
Spanish as a heritage language in the United States: The state of the field (pp. 7998). Washington, DC: Georgetown
University Press.
MacGregor-Mendoza, P. (2000). Aquí no se habla espanol: Stories of linguistic repression in southwest schools.
Bilingual Research Journal,24(4), 355367. doi:10.1080/15235882.2000.10162772
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
MacGregor-Mendoza, P. (2010). Spanish as a heritage language assessment: Successes, failures, lessons learned.
Heritage Language Journal,9(1), 125.
Martínez, G. (2003). Classroom based dialect awareness in heritage language instruction: A critical applied linguistic
approach. Heritage Language Journal,1(1), 114.
Martínez, G., & Schwartz, A. (2012). Elevating lowlanguage for high stakes: A case for critical, community-based
learning in a medical Spanish for heritage learners program. Heritage Language Journal,9(2), 3749.
Milroy, L., & Muysken, P. (1995). One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching.
Cambridge, UK/New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Ortiz, P. (2009). Indigenous knowledge and language: Decolonizing culturally relevant pedagogy in a Mapuche
intercultural bilingual education program in Chile. Canadian Journal of Native Education,32(1), 93114,130.
Parodi, C. (1993). Bilingüismo y préstamo léxico: Español chicano vs. español mexicano. Mester,22(2) & 23(1), 211
Parodi, C. (2003). Contacto de dialectos y lenguas en el Nuevo Mundo: La vernacularizació del español en América.
International Journal of the Sociology of Language,149,3353.
Pavlenko, A. (2002). We have room for but one language here: Language and national identity in the U.S. at the turn
of the 20th century. Multilingua,21, 163196.
Pennycook, A. (2007). Global Englishes and transcultural flows. London, UK: Routledge.
Potowski, K. (2003). Chicagos heritage language teacher corps: A model for improving Spanish teacher development.
Hispania,86(2), 302311.
Potowski, K. (2011). Conversaciones escritas: Spanish composition for heritage and L2 students. Hoboken, NJ: John
Wiley & Sons.
Potowski, K. (2012). Identity and heritage learners: Moving beyond essentializations. In M. Fairclough & S. Beaudrie
(Eds.), Spanish as a heritage language in the United States: The state of the field (pp. 179200). Washington, DC:
Georgetown University Press.
Potowski, K., & Carreira, M. (2004). Teacher development and national standards for Spanish as heritage language.
Foreign Language Annals,37(3), 427437. doi:10.1111/j.1944-9720.2004.tb02700.x
R Core Team. (2016). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for
Statistical Computing. Retrieved from
Rivera-Mills, S. V. (2012). Spanish heritage language maintenance: Its legacy and its future. In M. Fairclough & S.
Beaudrie (Eds.), Spanish as a heritage language in the United States: The state of the field (pp. 2142). Washington,
DC: Georgetown University Press.
Sánchez, R. (1983). Chicano discourse: Socio-historic perspectives. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Santa Ana, O., & Parodi, C. (1998). Modeling the speech community: Configurations and variable types in the
Mexican Spanish setting. Language in Society,27(1), 2351. doi:10.1017/S0047404500019710
Sayer, P. (2013). Translanguaging, TexMex, and bilingual pedagogy: Emergent bilinguals learning through the
vernacular. TESOL Quarterly,47(1), 6388. doi:10.1002/tesq.2013.47.issue-1
Silva-Corvalán, C. (1994). Language contact and change: Spanish in Los Angeles. Oxford, UK/New York, NY:
Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press.
Valdés, G. (1997). The teaching of Spanish to bilingual Spanish-speaking students: Outstanding issues and unanswered
questions. In M. C. Colombi & F. X. Alarcón (Eds.), La enseñanza del español a hispanohablantes: Praxis y teoría
(pp. 844). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Valdés, G. (1998). Incipient bilingualism and the development of English language writing abilities in the secondary
school. In C. Faltis & P. Wolfe (Eds.), So much to say: Teenagers, bilingualism and ESL in the secondary school (pp.
138175). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Valdés, G., González, S. V., García, D. L., & Márquez, P. (2003). Language ideology: The case of Spanish in
departments of foreign languages. Anthropology & Education Quarterly,34(1), 326. doi:10.1525/aeq.2003.34.1.3
Villa, D. J. (1996). Choosing a standardvariety of Spanish for the instruction of Native Spanish Speakers in the U.S.
Foreign Language Annals,29(2), 191200.
Villa, D. J. (2002). The sanitizing of U.S. Spanish in academia. Foreign Language Annals,35(2), 222230. doi:10.1111/
Villa, D. J., & Rivera-Mills, S. V. (2009). An integrated multi-generational model for language maintenance and shift:
The case of Spanish in the Southwest. Spanish in Context,6(1), 2642. doi:10.1075/sic.6.1.03vil
Walsh, C. (2007). Shifting the geopolitics of critical knowledge: Decolonial thought and cultural studies othersin the
Andes. Cultural Studies,21(23), 224239. doi:10.1080/09502380601162530
Zentella, A. (2002). Latin@ languages and identities. In M. Suárez-Orozco, M. Páez, & D. Rockefeller (Eds.), Latinos:
Remaking America (pp. 321338). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
Por favor marque si las siguientes frases le parecen correctas o incorrectas y comente su opinión sobre si usted diría estas
frases así o no [Please mark if you think the following words are correct or incorrect, and comment if you would say
these phrases like this or not].
Yo lo diría
Yo NO lo
diría así
1. Le dije a mi hermano que viniera, pero pos no quiso.
2. Mi amiga y yo nos fuimos de Shopping ayer.
3. Estoy en el campus y por más que busco no encuentro
4. Mi novio/a es güero/a, y tiene los ojos azules.
5. Mis vecinos son unos losers.
6. Vámonos a fumar afuera al porche.
7. ¡Ira ira, este hombre se cree el muy fuerte!
8. Le dije que simón, que sí quería.
9. Cuanta mugre tengo que limpiar en esta casa.
10. Mi amigo tiene un blog en línea sobre fotografía.
11. Ese programa de television está bien piratón.
12. Los lunes son el día mas feo de la semana ¿eda?
13. Me gusta el café, mesmamente me gusta la gente
14. Para que la masa del pastel te salga bien, la tienes que
mixear mucho rato.
15. En este comal calentamos las tortillas.
16. Le dije que ansina no me gustaba como quedó la casa
17. No llegó a tiempo el autobus..
18. Chales compadre, no me grites que te escucho bien.
19. Cliquéale en este dibujo y te sale la otra página.
20. Whatever, no me importa lo que digan de mi.
21. So, ¿vamos a ir al cine hoy o no?
22. Las flores en la yarda son bonitas.
23. Tengo que pagar los biles de este mes.
24. Hace mucho aigre el día de hoy.
25. Endenantes vino mi tía a visitarme, se acaba de ir.
26. Se me descompuso el carro y lo tuve que puchar fuera
de la calle.
27. Mi primo sabe tocar el acordeón muy bien.
28. Me encanta el agua de horchata.
29.En mi familia comemos pupusas de harina de arroz y de
30. Mi carnal es bien inteligente.
Downloaded by [] at 14:04 29 November 2017
... De Los De Los Ríos et al. (2021) explore the connection of cultural practices and translingualism in fostering language exploration and identity expression. Train (2020) promotes the teaching of variation as a means to achieve social justice, Holguín Holguín Mendoza (2018) privileges the home and community repertoires in the planning of a heritage language program, and Bucholtz et al. (2018) explore the empowerment of Latinx youth through community language work and participatory action research. Anya (2021) demonstrates the benefits of critical race pedagogy for more inclusive world language education, which Austin (2022) takes a step further by countering anti-Black racism in teacher training and instilling reflexivity. ...
Full-text available
The examination of language attitudes towards US Spanish variables unearths indexical meanings rooted in deficit perspectives, particularly in educational contexts. Standard language ideologies undergird pedagogical practice and learning experiences in second language (L2) and heritage language (HL) Spanish classes. The present study utilizes dual research paradigms of social cognition (matched guise technique (MGT); implicit association test (IAT)) to determine if varying experiences with (Spanish) standard language ideologies in academic settings condition bias towards standardized Spanish (SS) and US Spanish (USS) repertoires. L2 and HL students as well as teachers of Spanish (n = 81) have more positive associations of SS in both the MGT and IAT, demonstrating that standard language ideologies influence perceptions of language acquisition and academic language learning. No correlations between the bias measures were reported yet attitudes did not differ, suggesting that attitudes are stable and reflected in both early learnings of social information and lived experiences throughout formative education. These results contribute to a growing body of research that examines how monoglossic ideologies reinforce and reproduce the stigma associated with features of US Spanish(es)
... Drawing from an awareness of how language ideologies are deeply situated in multifaceted and historical contexts (Kroskrity 2010), her critical approach to bilingual teacher education calls for bilingual teacher candidates to interrogate the tensions of language ideologies and how they manifest in pedagogy and in discourse. Specifically, her work with bilingual teacher candidates works to build ideological clarity and critical awareness of linguistic injustice in education (Alfaro 2018;Bartolomé 2004;García 2015;Holguín Mendoza 2018;Leeman 2018). For her, bilingual teacher candidates' translanguaging repertoires evolve over time with this grappling. ...
... Recent research studies have highlighted several ways to incorporate CLA in classroom instruction (Holguín Mendoza 2018;Beaudrie et al. 2021;Leeman and Serafini 2016, among others). All these proposals address common learning goals (Beaudrie et al. 2019): ...
Full-text available
The main goal of heritage language (HL) education is to empower learners to explore and develop their cultural and linguistic heritage [...]
Code use, including codeswitching and/or style‐shifting, is an important but undertaught aspect of L2 sociolinguistic competence, and an important aspect of L2 learners' translanguaging repertoires. This study examines code use in Arabic—a diglossic language with distinct social uses for the prestige variety (Modern Standard Arabic, MSA) and Colloquial Arabic (CA). The study involved 10 participants who were third‐year, L2 learners of Arabic in a multidialectal program, and focused on the questions: (1) What types of metasociolinguistic awareness are evident among advanced learners of Arabic who have had multidialectal training? (2) To what extent is this awareness reflected in their productions? Data collection included a language learning history survey, spoken and written productions in Arabic, and an English interview. Findings show that participants had a complex awareness of MSA‐CA use that could be further expanded through instruction, suggesting that the trajectory of sociolinguistic competence development is complex, nonlinear, and influenced by instructional, social, and idiolectal factors. This study has important scholarly and pedagogical implications, and is linked to the rapidly growing body of scholarship on translanguaging practices and pedagogies.
Full-text available
This paper stresses the urgent need to implement critical and open pedagogies in language teaching, especially in the Spanish heritage language classroom. Language courses are often compulsory in secondary and higher education and typically employ traditional pedagogical models that are structured by grammar and/or communication tasks. This study introduces how heritage language teaching emerged as a field of study in the United States and offers a brief overview of critical and open pedagogies and their connection to open educational resources. This paper then introduces critical and open pedagogies to teaching Spanish as a heritage language, followed by a critical look at the existing Spanish teaching material. As an alternative to this material, this article shares a project titled “Discovering El Barrio” which addresses an innovative and productive pedagogical practice carried out by a Spanish heritage language class at Lehman College, CUNY. In this project, Spanish heritage language learners (HLL) became producers of authentic teaching and learning materials for second language (L2) Spanish learners.
Increasing globalization presents both challenges and opportunities to the higher education sector. This pioneering book shows how interaction between the two fields of foreign language pedagogy and second language acquisition (SLA) can facilitate more effective language development at an advanced level. Establishing a new research agenda to describe, assess, and study high-level language use, it uses mixed-methods analyses within a sociocognitive framework to explore constructs such as second language (L2) identity and critical language awareness as essential components of multilingualism and global citizenship. It approaches L2 advancedness from multiple perspectives, examining the L2 learner and their understanding of advanced language use, highlighting individual differences among foreign-language professionals regarding high-level language use, positing the need for unified departmental missions, and analysing alternative constructs to assess L2 advancedness. Throughout, analyses of quantitative and qualitative data are used to demonstrate the multiple dimensions of advanced second language use in higher education.
Full-text available
This study centers on two Spanish language discourse markers: así in the Spanish-English contact area along the U.S.-Mexico border and vuelta, a discourse marker used in Andean Spanish which is in contact with Ecuadorian Quichua. Applying Relevance Theory, we observe how these markers convey emergent pragmatic and intersubjective functions. Vuelta is able to function as an enumerator indexing iterativity and as a quotative framing indirect speech. Intersubjectively, it frames discourse to be read as either proud, persistent, or annoying. Así is associated with particular interactional stances of solidarity and politeness. Frequently used by young women signaling prestige, femininity, and socioeconomic status, así indexes values and cultural practices similar to middle-class lifestyles from the U.S. This study argues that in order to understand linguistic permeability and interference in both of these uses, we must first understand speakers' communicative and social needs within their bilingual community. Resumen: Este estudio se centra en dos marcadores discursivos en situaciones de contacto: el así en el español hablado en la frontera de México y los Estados Unidos en contacto con el inglés, y el marcador discursivo vuelta utilizado en el español andino en contacto con el quichua en Ecuador. Utilizamos el marco de la teoría de la relevancia y observamos cómo estas partículas se comportan como marcadores pragmáticos con funciones intersubjetivas. Vuelta funciona como enumerador indicando ciclos de iteratividad y para enmarcar citaciones en
Critical approaches to Spanish heritage language (SHL) pedagogy have called for more meaningful engagement with heritage language communities (Leeman, 2005). In a recent survey, furthermore, SHL students expressed a desire for more community-based activities in SHL curricula (Beaudrie, Ducar, & Relaño-Pastor, 2009). This paper reports on the outcomes of a community-based SHL program for medical purposes. SHL college students majoring in biology, nursing and other health-related programs participated in a semester-long miniinternship in a community health center serving indigent patients in Hidalgo County, Texas. Faculty and clinic staff collaborated to create an integrated experience for the students. The experience was assessed through a reflection questionnaire completed by the students. An analysis of the assessment data suggests that students emerged from the experience with a heightened commitment to Spanish language maintenance, an expanded bilingual range, and an understanding and respect for language variation in Spanish.
From its origins over three decades ago, interest in the field of Spanish as a heritage language (SHL) has grown and has produced a wealth of research. While our understanding of the sociolinguistic profile of Spanish heritage language learners has increased and we have advanced in our knowledge of the linguistic abilities and strategies Spanish heritage language learners bring to bear on specific language tasks, we are just beginning to apply this knowledge in meaningful ways for the purposes of assessment. The present paper describes the evaluation of the efficacy of the Spanish Placement Test (SPT) that has been used for over 15 years to evaluate students initiating their Spanish language study at New Mexico State University (NMSU). The SPT is intended to distinguish between students who would be best served by either the SHL sequence or the Spanish as a Second Language sequence and, further, to suggest which course within the appropriate sequence would best allow their skills to grow. An examination of the SPT was warranted as the population for which the SPT was originally designed did not appear to match that of NMSU’s population of SHL learners. Additionally, at first glance, the items on the SPT did not appear to be a good fit with the goals of the courses in the SHL sequence. The present paper discusses the findings of our evaluation of the SPT in light of its ability to assess the skills of learners of Spanish as a heritage language and place them accurately in the sequence of SHL courses.
As the first chapter in Part II, this chapter turns its attention to education. Focusing on the growing multilingualism in schools, the chapter reviews traditional definitions and types of bilingual education. It frames foreign/second language education, as well as bilingual education, as ways of enacting parallel monolingualisms, and then reviews ways in which this is resisted in classrooms all over the world. It also presents ways in which educators are promoting flexible languaging in teaching, transgressing the strict structures of dual language bilingual classrooms, as well as going beyond the traditional view of separate languages literacies.
There is growing interest in heritage language learners-individuals who have a personal or familial connection to a nonmajority language. Spanish learners represent the largest segment of this population in the United States. In this comprehensive volume, experts offer an interdisciplinary overview of research on Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. They also address the central role of education within the field. Contributors offer a wealth of resources for teachers while proposing future directions for scholarship.
In The Everyday Language of White Racism, Jane H. Hill provides an incisive analysis of everyday language to reveal the underlying racist stereotypes that continue to circulate in American culture. Provides a detailed background on the theory of race and racism. Reveals how racializing discourse-talk and text that produces and reproduces ideas about races and assigns people to them-facilitates a victim-blaming logic. Integrates a broad and interdisciplinary range of literature from sociology, social psychology, justice studies, critical legal studies, philosophy, literature, and other disciplines that have studied racism, as well as material from anthropology and sociolinguistics. Part of the Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture Series.