Heritage Language Learners in First-Year Foreign Language Courses: A Report of General Data Across Learner Subtypes
Version of Record online: 14 MAY 2009
© 2009 by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Inc.
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 42, Issue 2, pages 250–269, Summer 2009
How to Cite
Reynolds, R. R., Howard, K. M. and Deák, J. (2009), Heritage Language Learners in First-Year Foreign Language Courses: A Report of General Data Across Learner Subtypes. Foreign Language Annals, 42: 250–269. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2009.01020.x
- Issue online: 14 MAY 2009
- Version of Record online: 14 MAY 2009
- foreign language;
- heritage language learners;
- Relevant to all languages
Abstract: This article reports on a survey of language study motivations for first-year language learners at two large private East Coast American universities. Surveys were completed by 401 students in courses for 19 different foreign languages. Forty percent of respondents were designated as heritage language learners (HLLs), and they were divided into two subclasses: narrowly defined HLLs, who indicated that the target language was regularly spoken in their home and who constituted 34% of all HLLs (55/162); and broadly defined HLLs, who indicated familial or heritage connections to the language without regular prior exposure to the target language and who constituted 66% (107/162) of all HLLs. This article reports students' prior exposure to the language, reasons for studying it, and goals and attitudes among these subclasses, and outlines avenues for further investigation.