Fourth Heritage Language Summer Research Institute Heritage Speakers: Linguistics and Pedagogy
4th Research Institute • Organized by the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC) • Hosted by University of Hawai’i at Manoa, JUNE 21-25, 2010
The Mission • Title VI Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education (2006-2010) • One of 15 National Language Resource Centers • The only one dedicated to heritage languages • http://www.international.ucla.edu/languages/nhlrc/
THE MISSION • Research into heritage language acquisition • Innovative teaching practices and professional development • Design of • instructional materials • assessment instruments for HLLs
Olga Kagan, UCLA, Director, NHLRC • Maria (Masha) Polinsky, Harvard, Director, NHLRC Summer Institutes
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO • Richard Schmidt • Kimi Kondo-Brown • William O’Grady • Ho-min Sohn, Director, The Center for Korean Studies • Jim Yoshioka
History • 2007 – First Research Institute, UC Davis • 2008 – Second Research Institute, Harvard • 2009 – Third Research Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The Goals of the 4th Institute • Linguistic research (morning presentations) • Applied research and practical implications (afternoon presentations) • Afternoon discussions: • Discussion of a White Paper on the linguistic HL research • Pedagogy Workshop: Guidelines for teaching HLLs
Moderators Presentations • Silvina Montrul • Abbas Benmamoun The white paper • Maria Polinsky Pedagogy Discussions • Kim Potowski • Olga Kagan
U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the Council on Foreign Relations, May 26, 2010 • "We… support innovative approaches to language learning and proficiency assessment through our network of Language Resource Centers.”
Sec. Arne Duncan (cont.) “ Just one example is the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA. They sponsored their first international conference on heritage and community languages last February. The millions of heritage language speakers at varying levels of language proficiency in the U.S. represent a tremendous reserve of students and potential teachers who can put their skills to work improving our cultural understanding as well as our ability to compete, collaborate, preserve national security, and advance international peacekeeping efforts."
NHLRC 4th Institute Pedagogy Discussions
Masha • Which languages show decline/growth in enrollments? • Which languages become more/less heritage oriented? • Which languages have a stronger/weaker language maintenance?
Masha (cont) • Going beyond grammar: • HSs and registers • HSs in an interactive setting • Going beyond speaking: • HSs and reading: how to get them to read without making it about basic reading?
Virginia and Stephen 1. Metalinguistic awareness and explicit knowledge of Cantonese grammar can benefit both teachers and learners of heritage languages. 2. Some aspects of grammar can be focused on in classroom instruction and consciousness raising may be useful.
ABBAS • From an acquisition point of view, heritage speakers are in some respects similar to native speakers in having been exposed to the target language early in childhood. However, they differ from native speakers in that their L1 exposure …get[s] interrupted and [is] limited in its scope and domain (usually confined to the home and immediate family and community).
Building on strenghths • HLLs initial competencies • HLLs activities outside of class • HLLs’ motivations for (re)learning their HL
HL LEARNER SURVEY • Started January 2007 • On-going • N= 1700 • College age HLLs • 22 languages
Age at immigration • 77% born in the U.S. or came before the age of 5
A Thai HLL • Ben: When I was a kid, I grew up speaking Thai with my parents, both my mom and dad. It was my first language, so when I was in preschool, I didn’t know any English. After that, I started speaking English and only English, when I was trying to fit in. I kind of lost the ability to speak and not feel embarrassed about speaking Thai. When I was around 12, I got interested in Thailand… When I was around 18, 19, I started speaking as if it were a normal process. Now I speak Thai to my mom most of the time, so it’s not English anymore.Source: Teaching Heritage Languages Online Workshophttp://startalk.nhlrc.ucla.edu
These activities show that • HLLs continue to use HL after acquiring English • They use HL in naturalistic environments to receive or transmit meaning (input and output continued, albeit limited)
A Thai HLL (cont) Ben: But I have had formal instruction just this past quarter. It was advanced Thai and it was mostly writing and reading. It turned out to be really difficult, more difficult than I had imagined it to be. Before that, I had written basic conversational Thai, and I could get my point across in written form really well, but to sound academic and, I guess, to sound educated in Thai was a little more difficult than I had imagined it to be. I took Sunday classes like a lot of heritage learners and those were pretty bad, actually. Source: Teaching Heritage Languages Online Workshop
A Hmong HLL Mee Her: • …I wanted to learn how to read and write in my native language. So that’s why I took Hmong and I was really excited when they offer this course here at UW Madison… I actually love the Hmong language. It’s really poetic and it’s really beautiful and I love it when the elders speak because they sort of rhyme and everything and it goes in rhythm and they stretches words and it’s just so beautiful because nowadays, our generation we speak Hmong in just sort of straightforward one word after another, but for them, they emphasize saying the words and it’s really beautiful how they speak. So I love listening to the elders. Source: Teaching Heritage Languages Online Workshophttp://startalk.nhlrc.ucla.edu
These are motivations HLLs bring. • Motivations change • Students can be • Motivated or • Demotivated by work they do in class
We have worked on four areas of instructional approaches that • combine L1 and L2 approaches AND consider • Initial proficiencies • Outside activities • Possible motivations
From…To… • From linguistic research to pedagogy • From pedagogy to linguistic research
Proposed approaches • Task- and Project-based instruction • Teaching register/pragmatics/sociolinguistic competence through interviews • Developing HLL’s metalinguistic awareness • Using language arts curricular design to teach and enhance literacy