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Keywords:

  • grammar;
  • heritage language pedagogy;
  • oral proficiency;
  • Spanish heritage language;
  • Spanish

Abstract: This article addresses the situation of lower-proficiency heritage language learners of Spanish in terms of their linguistic similarities to second language learners. The analysis highlights grammatical and lexical features in the oral discourse of Spanish heritage and second language learners at intermediate and advanced levels of study, establishing common linguistic ground between the two groups. Given the similarities, the article emphasizes the current need for courses designed to accommodate lower-proficiency heritage learners, integrating principles and aspects of second language acquisition theory and pedagogy.