Program Models for Heritage Language Education

Authored by: Sarah Catherine K. Moore

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States

Print publication date:  January  2014
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415520669
eBook ISBN: 9780203122419
Adobe ISBN: 9781136332494


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Heritage/community languages are often learned informally from family and community members through intergenerational transmission, but they are also learned (or further developed) through instructional programs offered in the public and private school system and in community-based language programs. This chapter reviews a number of types of programs that support heritage language (HL) learning through instruction and a range of contextual factors that affect the type of program available. Several key considerations for HL programs include access to resources, local support, attitudes toward the target language, and the positionality of the language in relation to the surrounding majority language and mainstream system of schooling. The discussion focuses on school-based and community-based program models for students in grades K–12. Generally speaking, school-based models receive state and federal funding to support services and instruction, while community-based models usually locate sources of funding beyond those available from state and federal governments.

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