Daniel J. Villa (Ph.D., University of New Mexico) is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.
Choosing a “Standard” Variety of Spanish for the Instruction of Native Spanish Speakers in the U.S.
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1996 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 191–200, May 1996
How to Cite
Villa, D. J. (1996), Choosing a “Standard” Variety of Spanish for the Instruction of Native Spanish Speakers in the U.S. Foreign Language Annals, 29: 191–200. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1996.tb02326.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT Many Spanish for Native Speakers (SNS) instructional approaches are based on the idea that there exist invariable spoken and written “standards” of the language that are preferable over other varieties and that will benefit students when acquired. However, such invariable varieties of any language do not exist, and thus a decision must be made as to which dialect and written variety will be used in SNS instruction. This decision is political in nature, and one that cannot be avoided. Basing this decision on sociolinguistic research, the author proposes a spoken and written variety of Spanish to be employed in the instruction of native Spanish speakers in the United States. The concept of “standard” is reviewed, and arguments are offered to support the decision as to which varieties of Spanish are most appropriate for SNS instruction.