Learning & Teaching

Most heritage languages are also less commonly taught languages, and few materials exist for teachers that are appropriate or can be adapted for heritage language instruction. NHLRC, with support from the National Foreign Language Center’s STARTALK Program, is committed to the development of materials that are suitable for heritage language instruction.

We created these to give high school heritage learners a head start before taking our UCLA summer courses. They are specially designed for heritage learners, taking their knowledge of basic vocabulary and oral skills into account to make a bridge to literacy. Each tutorial is sequential: teachers introduce a certain number of letters in each lesson, providing multiple ways to practice identifying and writing each letter. The following lessons build on the previous ones, until students are practicing reading, listening to, and writing all the letters in the alphabet. Because of this structure, we recommend that you begin at the beginning and go through the lessons in order without skipping. We hope you enjoy these tutorials and let us know whether they helped you learn.

As heritage languages gain more attention in the public domain, universities have begun to offer courses that introduce students to social, cultural, pedagogical, and linguistic challenges of heritage languages, make them aware of what it means to be a heritage speaker in a modern society, and dispel persistent misconceptions and stereotypes about bilingualism. This webpage presents syllabi, class materials, and samples of students' work from several such classes offered throughout the country.

Database on HL course work

We offer classes for high school students who grew up with a language other than English at home and want to speak their home language better as well as gain literacy. The course is not for UCLA credit but students may be able to receive one year of language credit from their high school. We also offer beginning classes in some languages for any interested high school student. These offerings vary from year to year.