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Title: Teaching Heritage Language Learners: Research Data and Pedagogical Implications


1
Teaching Heritage Language Learners Research
Data and Pedagogical Implications
  • Olga Kagan, Director, National Heritage Language
    Resource Center

2
A heritage language learner a working definition
  • Broad definition those who have been raised with
    a strong cultural connection to a particular
    language, usually through family interaction
    (Fishman 2001 Van Deusen-Scholl 2003). NO
    MEASURABLE PROFICIENCIES
  • Narrow definition those who have been exposed to
    a particular language in childhood but did not
    learn it to full capacity because another
    language became dominant. MEASURABLE
    PROFICIENCIES
  • Source Polinsky and Kagan 2007

3
The purpose of this workshop
  • Suggest research questions that may lead to
    improvements in
  • HL curriculum
  • HL materials
  • FOR HLLs of NARROW DEFINITION, i.e. those
  • who (typically) can have oral and aural
  • proficiencies

4
Curricular Components
  • Demographics/sociolinguistics
  • Community history history and community
    interests students motivations
  • Linguistics
  • The baseline language of the community
  • HL learner characteristics across languages and
    by language
  • Psycholinguistics
  • The processes of language retrieval, maintenance,
    and acquisition HL specific strategies

5
Why Demographics?
  • The American Community Survey 2005-2008
  • 20 of the U.S. population speak a language
    other than English at home

6
A book on communities and language education (CUP
in press)
  • Ed. Kim Potowski
  • Histories of immigration
  • Language loss and maintenance
  • Community attitudes
  • Attempts to make predictions

7
Ten languages most frequently spoken at home,
the 1990, 2000 Censuses and 2007 Community
Estimate A Comparison
8
A heritage language learner a working definition
rooted in community and family
  • Narrow definition those who have been exposed to
    a particular language in childhood but did not
    learn it to full capacity because another
    language became dominant. MEASURABLE
    PROFICIENCIES

9
Four Waves of Russian Immigration to the US
  • First wave After the communist revolution of
    1917 (to Europegtto US)
  • Second wave After WWII
  • Third wave Early 1970s-late 1980s
  • Forth wave After the collapse of the S.U.

10
The recent wave of Russian immigration 1970s-prese
nt
  • 76 of Russian speakers are born abroad
  • 42 arrived before 5
  • 28 between 6-10
  • NHLRC Survey

11
Broad/narrow definitions (Russian) Kagan
Dillon 2001 Kagan 2005
  • GROUP 1 completed/almost completed
  • high school in the former SU
  • GROUP 2 attended/completed junior high or
    equivalent
  • GROUP 3 attended/completed
  • elementary school
  • GROUP 4 emigrated at a pre-school age or born
    outside the former SU

12
Kondo-Brown, 2005 (Japanese)
  • Role of a Japanese-speaking mother
  • Group 1. No Japanese-speaking parent or
    grandparent. Grandparents born in the U.S.
  • Group 2. No Japanese-speaking parent.
  • At least one grandparent born in Japan.
  • Group 3. At least one Japanese-speaking parent
    born in the United States or Japan.

13
A Japanese HL Class (Carreira Kagan in prep)
  • Japanese 100 12 students
  • 6 (US born) four or more years of a community
    school in the US.
  • 1 (foreign-born) six to eight years of school in
    Japan.
  • 1 (raised in a Japanese-speaking home in Korea)
    attended Japanese school for five years.
  • 2 (US born) 1-2 years of schooling in Japan
  • 2 (one US born one foreign) no formal
    schooling

14
Different levels of HL and classroom practices
UCLA Russian Program
  • R 100 Literacy in Russian (groups 3/4)
  • R 102 Flagship Advanced/Superior Russian R 107
    Russian for Social and Cultural Studies
  • R 103 Russian for native and near-native
    speakers
  • R 108 Business Russian

15
Discussion Question 1
  • In your language, what groups of proficiency do
    you expect? What factors would they depend on?
  • History of immigration?
  • Language maintenance in the family?
  • Attendance at community schools?
  • Other?

16
NHLRC Survey of Heritage Language Learners
  • An on-line survey
  • 1,700 responses
  • 22 languages
  • Survey Report http//www.nhlrc.ucla.edu

17
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18
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19
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20
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21
HL Motivations a bridge between community and
classroom
22
Motivations by Language (NHLRC Survey, Carreira
Kagan in prep)
23
Discussion Question 2
  • What are the ways to incorporate motivations in a
    HL-specific curriculum and materials?

24
Learner Characteristics Age of Arrival and HL
proficiency
  • NHLRC Survey

25
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26
Age of Arrival 43 younger than 5
27
77
  • U.S.-born
  • arrivals before age of 5

28
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29
Age of Arrival and Speaking HL
30
Age of Arrival and Reading time
31
Age of Arrival and Internet Use
32
Age of Arrival and Self-rating
33
Linguistic Biographies
  • Supply valuable information
  • Self-assessment is of value
  • It can be used for placement
  • Question What is the shortest questionnaire that
    can yield results for placement?

34
To salvage heritage languages
  • it is crucial to find ways to foster an
    environment that supports heritage-language
    speakers regular and active use of the language
    beyond the preschool years.
  • T. Au (2007)

35
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36
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37
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38
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39
The least proficient HLLs
  • Access to language since age 0
  • Output interrupted at age 5
  • Continued exposure to the HL
  • at home
  • through some HL media
  • In the community
  • Compared to peers in the L1 country,
  • not a full range of access
  • Compared to L2 learners, the access is
    enormous

40
Discussion Questions 2-4
  • What does the combination of English and HL look
    like?
  • How can we connect HL activities outside of class
    with classroom practices?
  • What are the main differences in teaching L1s,L2s
    and HLLs?

41
  • Do HLLs see themselves as native speakers of
    their HL?

42
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43
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44
Carreira and Kagan (in preparation)

45
Carreira and Kagan (in preparation)
46
Discussion Question 5
  • How do HLLs evaluate their own language
    competencies?

47
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "not
important" and 5 being "extremely important", how
important is it for you to accomplish the
following goals in your HL class?
48
What is easy and hard for you to do in English?
1-5
49
What is easy and hard for you to do in HL? 1-5
50
Self-assessment of aural comprehension in HL.
1-5. Compare to L2?
51
Research on Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary is emerging as the best indicator of
    HLLs overall proficiency
  • Polinsky (1995, 1997, 2000) - Russian
  • Kanno et al.( 2008) - Japanese
  • Increasing vocabulary may emerge as the primary
    goal of HLL instruction

52
Lexical approach to L2 teaching
  • Lexis, not grammar, is the basis of language.
  • language consists of grammaticalized lexis, not
    lexicalized grammar.
  • One of the central organizing principles of any
    meaning-centered syllabus should be lexis.
  • Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach The state
    of ELT and the way forward. Hove, England
    Language Teaching Publications.

53
Lewiss Suggestions to Lexical Approach HL
specific and 21st century
  • Intensive and extensive listening and reading
  • Language comparisons and translation
    chunk-for-chunk, not word-for-wordaimed at
    raising language awareness. Add dialects
  • Guessing the meaning of vocabulary from context.
  • Noticing language patterns and collocations.
  • Working with language corpora and Internet
    sources
  • Using language for discovery and research

54
Discussion Question 5
  • What HLLs lexical deficiencies?
  • What are the most efficient ways to expand HLLs
    vocabulary?

55
Research on Grammar
  • incomplete L1 acquisition in heritage speakers is
    selective and localized.
  • some areas of grammatical knowledge appear to be
    more susceptible to incomplete development than
    others.
  • Montrul et al. (2008)

56
Indications of systematic differences
  • Differential Object Marking in Spanish
  • Montrul (2004,2008)
  • Gender in Russian
  • Polinsky (2008)
  • Inflected infinitives in Brazilian Portuguese
  • Rothman (2007)
  • Cohesive devices in Russian
  • Friedman and Kagan (2008)
  • Polinsky HL grammar

57
Discussion Question
  • In the language you teach/research,
  • what are the MAIN grammar points
  • that NEED to be taught to HLLs?

58
Discussion Question
  • What kind of assessment is appropriate for HLLs
  • Linguistic biographies
  • Oral interviews
  • Aural comprehension
  • Written testing
  • Portfolios
  • Other

59
  • The processes of language retrieval,
  • maintenance, and acquisition
  • HL specific strategies

60
Vygotskys ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) and
HLL assessment and teaching
  • 1) Tasks a difference between what learners can
    do without help and
  • where they need help (scaffolding)
  • 2) Skill-oriented zones young children learn
    their native language by
  • being placed in a ZPD
  • 3) It is impossible to understand a child's
    potential intellectual
  • Development using a one-way assessment
  • 4) Arguments against standardized testing as a
    means to gauge
  • students intelligence
  • Wells, G. (1999) Dialogic inquiries in education
    Towards a Sociocultural Practice
  • And Theory of Education, CUP

61
Vygotskys ZPD EXTENDING THE CONCEPT TO HLLs
  • We put students who learned HL in ZPD, into a
    constrained environment
  • Retrieval may happen best when relearning by
    socializing
  • FL-type testing may NOT assess well naturally
    acquired and partially attrited knowledge

62
Static Assessment (SA) VS Dynamic Assessment
(DA)(Poehner 2008)
  • SA isolating abilities that are conceived as
    stable, discrete traits that can be sampled and
    measured
  • DA helps improve functioning and entails
    understanding the process of development

63
HL Strategies
  • Large chunk reading and listening
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Participating in community events
  • Speaking the HL with family
  • Noticing and asking questions
  • Practicing ambiguities
  • Playing language games
  • ???

64
A strategy HL may welcome
65
Discussion Questions
  • What are HL-focused classroom practices?
  • What are HL strategies?

66
L2 VS HL Teaching Videos
  • Korean, Sun-Hee Lee and Nayoung Kwon, Wellesley
    College
  • Tagalog, Nenita Domingo, UCLA
  • Russian, Larisa Karkafi, UCLA

67
Discussion Question
  • Tagalog and Russian Do you see a difference
    between these classes and a typical L2 class?
  • Korean Is the testing appropriate for HLLs?
    Whats being tested? How do the speakers
    speaking proficiencies differ?

68
In a nutshell
  • HL language groups, learner competencies, and
    classroom practices Motivations and interests
  • Baseline language of HLLs
  • Self-rating and language placement
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Differences between L2 and HL teaching
  • HL specific strategies

69
Questions
  • QUESTION 1 Community and Curriculum
  • 1. In your language, what groups of proficiency
    do you expect? What factors would they depend
    on? History of immigration? Language
    maintenance in the family?
  • Attendance at community schools? Other?
  • 2. How to connect HL activities outside of
    class with classroom practices?
  • QUESTION 2.
  • From either your experience or research, what
    does the combination of English and HL look like?

70
Questions (cont)
  • QUESTION 3
  • How do HLLs evaluate their own language
    competencies? Could their self-rating be used
    for placement purposes?
  • Question 4
  • In the language you teach, what are HLLs lexical
    deficiencies?
  • What would you propose as the most efficient ways
    to expand HLLs vocabulary?

71
Questions (cont)
  • Question 4
  • In the language you teach, what are HLLs lexical
    deficiencies?
  • What would you propose as the most efficient ways
    to expand HLLs vocabulary?
  • Question 5
  • In the language you teach/research, what are the
    MAIN grammar points that NEED to be taught to
    HLLs?

72
Questions (cont)
  • Question 6
  • What are the main differences in teaching L2s and
    HLLs? Assessments, including linguistic
    questionnaires? What is the shortest optimal list
    of questions in a questionnaire?
  • HL specific strategies?

73
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT The THREE FOCI
  • Focus on language
  • Massive vocabulary development
  • Certain grammatical points
  • Focus on motivation and identity
  • Large chunk reading and aural input
  • Interaction with the community
  • Focus on pedagogy
  • macro approaches content and culture-based
    task-based project-based

74
References
  • Au, T. K-f Salvaging Heritage Languages in
    Heritage Language Education A New Field
    Emerging, ed. Brinton, Kagan, Bauckus
  • He A. W. (2006) Toward an Identity Theory of the
    Development of Chinese as a Heritage Language.
    Heritage Language Journal, Volume 4, Number 1
  • Kagan, O. Dillon, K. (in press) Bridging
    Contexts, Making Connections Selected
    Proceedings from the Fifth International
    Conference on Language Teacher Education. 
    Minneapolis, MN Center for Advanced Research on
    Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota.
  • Kagan, O. Dillon, K. (2001) A New Perspective
    on Teaching Russian Focus on the Heritage
    Learner . Slavic and East European Journal 45.3
    (2001) 507-18. Reprinted in Heritage Language
    Journal Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2003
  • Kagan, O. (2005) In Support of a
    Proficiency-based Definition of Heritage Language
    Learners The Case of Russian. International
    Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism,
    8, 213-221.
  • Kagan, O., Friedman. D. (2004). Using the OPI
    to place heritage speakers of Russian. Foreign
    Language Annals 36(4), 536-545.
  • Kanno, K., Hasegawa,T., Ikeda,K.,Ito Y.and Long
    M. Prior Language-learning Experience and
    Variation in the Linguistic Profiles of Advanced
    English-speaking Learners of Japanese. In
    Brinton, D., Kagan, O., and Bauckus, S. ed.
    Heritage Language Education A New Field
    Emerging. Pp. 165-180
  • Kondo-Brown, K. (2002) Family and School Factors
    Influencing Academic Performance of Bilingual
    Shin Nisei Students in Hawaii. Asian and Pacific
    Islander
  • American Education Social, Cultural, and
    Historical Contexts. Ed. Eileen Tamura, Virgie
    Chattergy, and Russell Endo. South EL Monte, CA
    Pacific Asia Press, 2002. 149-74.
  • Kondo-Brown, K. (2005). Differences in language
    skills Heritage language learner subgroups and
    foreign language learners. The Modern Language
    Journal, 89(iv), 563-581.

75
References
  • He A. W. (2006) Toward an Identity Theory of the
    Development of Chinese as a Heritage Language.
    Heritage Language Journal, Volume 4, Number 1
  • Kagan, O. Dillon, K. (in press) Bridging
    Contexts, Making Connections Selected
    Proceedings from the Fifth International
    Conference on Language Teacher Education. 
    Minneapolis, MN Center for Advanced Research on
    Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota.
  • Kagan, O. Dillon, K. (2001) A New Perspective
    on Teaching Russian Focus on the Heritage
    Learner . Slavic and East European Journal 45.3
    (2001) 507-18. Reprinted in Heritage Language
    Journal Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2003
  • Kagan, O. (2005) In Support of a
    Proficiency-based Definition of Heritage Language
    Learners The Case of Russian. International
    Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism,
    8, 213-221.
  • Kagan, O., Friedman. D. (2004). Using the OPI
    to place heritage speakers of Russian. Foreign
    Language Annals 36(4), 536-545.
  • Kanno, K., Hasegawa,T., Ikeda,K.,Ito Y.and Long
    M. Prior Language-learning Experience and
    Variation in the Linguistic Profiles of Advanced
    English-speaking Learners of Japanese. In
    Brinton, D., Kagan, O., and Bauckus, S. ed.
    Heritage Language Education A New Field
    Emerging. Pp. 165-180
  • Kondo-Brown, K. (2002) Family and School Factors
    Influencing Academic Performance of Bilingual
    Shin Nisei Students in Hawaii. Asian and Pacific
    Islander
  • American Education Social, Cultural, and
    Historical Contexts. Ed. Eileen Tamura, Virgie
    Chattergy, and Russell Endo. South EL Monte, CA
    Pacific Asia Press, 2002. 149-74.
  • Kondo-Brown, K. (2005). Differences in language
    skills Heritage language learner subgroups and
    foreign language learners. The Modern Language
    Journal, 89(iv), 563-581.

76
  • Montrul, S. (2004). Subject and object expression
    in Spanish heritage speakers A case of
    morpho-syntactic convergence. Bilingualism,
    Language and Cognition 7,125142.
  • Montrul, S. (2008). Incomplete acquisition in
    bilingualism Re-examining the age factor.
    Amsterdam John Benjamins.
  • Polinsky, Maria. 1995. Cross-linguistic parallels
    in language loss. Southwest Journal of
    Linguistics 14. 87-124.
  • Polinsky, Maria. 1997. American Russian Language
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    et al. (eds.). Annual Workshop on Formal
    Approaches to Slavic Linguistics The Cornell
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  • Polinsky, Maria. 2000. A composite linguistic
    profile of a speaker of Russian in the USA. In
    Olga Kagan and Benjamin Rifkin, eds. The learning
    and teaching of Slavic languages and cultures.
    Bloomington, IN Slavica.
  • Polinsky, M. (2006). Incomplete acquisition
    American Russian. Journal of Slavic Linguistics
    14, 191262.
  • Polinsky, M. (2007). Russian gender under
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  • Polinsky, M. Kagan, O. (2007). Heritage
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References
  • Rothman, J. (2007) Heritage speaker competence
    differences, language change, and input type
    Inflected infinitives in Heritage Brazilian
    Portuguese. The International Journal of
    Bilingualism International Journal of
    Bilingualism Volume 11 Number 4 2007, 359
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  • Sohn, S-O., Shin, S-K. (2007). True beginners,
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    strategies for Korean heritage learners. Foreign
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  • Schwartz, Ann M. 2001. Preparing teachers to work
    with heritage language learners. In J.K.Peyton,
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  • Valdés, Guadelupe. 2000. The teaching of
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