Eighth Heritage Language Research Institute

New edges and broader domains

professional development \ institutes \ 2015 institute


Workshop 1

Wednesday, June 3, 3:45-5:45pm

This session has two parts: First, Dr. Maria Luisa Parra will present the curriculum design of a one semester intermediate-advanced course for college/high-school Spanish heritage speakers. Based on the latest theoretical approaches and best practices for teaching heritage languages (HLs), attendees will learn about a) how to integrate meaningful content in the course objectives; b) how to build the teaching of different text genres (with emphasis in the academic register); and c) how to use art as a tool to enhance students' creativity, process of self-reflection and integration of the learning experience. The results of this methodology show that an integral approach to teaching HLs fosters students' sense of identity, confidence to use the language in broader contexts, and motivation to pass it on to future generations.

(Although the course is designed for Spanish speakers, the presentation will be in English so teachers from other languages are welcome).

Second, Prof. María Carreira will discuss the use of project-based and macro-based (also known as top-down) approaches in heritage language (HL) teaching, focusing on foundational principles, classroom strategies, and issues of implementation. Participants will learn how to use the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and Olga Kagan's "From-to" principles for conceptualizing learners’ Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky 1978) and designing activities that build on HL learners' global knowledge of their heritage language and culture.

Workshop 2

Thursday, June 4, 3:45-5:45pm; Maria Carreira and Claire Chik, NHLRC

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 presentation will offer an overview to both domains of knowledge. Regarding the first, it will examine HL learners' linguistic skills and needs 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 engage in practice activities for assessment, differentiation, and curriculum design for mixed classes.