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Keywords:

  • community-based curriculum;
  • heritage language (HL);
  • heritage language attitudes;
  • heritage language learners (HLL);
  • motivations

Abstract: This article reports on a survey of heritage language learners (HLLs) across different heritage languages (HLs) and geographic regions in the United States. A general profile of HLLs emerges as a student who (1) acquired English in early childhood, after acquiring the HL; (2) has limited exposure to the HL outside the home; (3) has relatively strong aural and oral skills but limited literacy skills; (4) has positive HL attitudes and experiences; and (5) studies the HL mainly to connect with communities of speakers in the United States and to gain insights into his or her roots. We argue that a community-based curriculum represents an effective way to harness the wealth of knowledge and experiences that HLLs bring to the classroom and to respond to their goals for their HL.