Maria Carreira is Professor of Spanish at California State University, Long Beach and Co-Director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA. Maria Carreira's research focuses on heritage languages, with a concentration in Spanish in the United States as well as the less commonly taught languages. Her research focuses on Spanish in the United States, identity, resilience, and heritage language learning and maintenance. She is also co-author of four Spanish-textbooks (Cengage), as well as Voces: Latino Students on Life in the United States (Carreira and Beeman, 2014; Praguer), a book that explores how U.S. Latino children navigate two languages and cultures in schools, as well as other contexts.
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Teaching Heritage Language Learners Workshop
When Heritage-Language and Second-Language Learners Come Together: Leveraging Learner Diversity in Mixed Classes
Research by the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) shows that more often than not, HL learners study their home language in the context of mixed classes, i.e. classes with second language learners (L2 learners) and HL learners. Yet, most of the work on HL teaching has focused on specialized HL classes, to the neglect of mixed classes. Addressing this gap, this workshop presents some foundational principles behind teaching mixed classes and offers hands-on practice with specialized tools and strategies for this context.
To navigate the attendant challenges of mixed classes, it is important (1) to understand the ways in which HL learners differ from each other, as well as from L2 learners, and (2) to employ teaching strategies that effectively respond to those differences. This workshop will offer an overview to both domains of knowledge. Regarding the first, it will examine HL learners' linguistic skills and needs, as well as their preparedness for language learning, as a function of their personal background.
Regarding the second, it will present a model of differentiated instruction specifically designed for mixed classes that is informed by emerging research, as well as practice. Participants will practice using the tools and strategies of this model, in ways that are appropriate and beneficiary for the mixed class context.