Funding for Heritage Language Programs

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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Programs that provide heritage language development for speakers with some proficiency in or connection to the heritage language are offered in diverse settings by sponsors ranging from local community members to the federal government (see Moore, Chapter 32, this volume). While enthusiasm may be high, gathering the resources needed to offer such programs is often a challenge. Sources of funding for these programs vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the target language, context of speakers and their backgrounds, investment and engagement of the local community, and overt identification of the language as a critical resource by policymakers (such as is the case, for example, with languages that have been identified as “critical” by the U.S. federal government). Because heritage language (HL) programs are typically outside the education system and usually do not receive government funding for foreign language instruction, many programs rely on multiple sources of funding from different kinds of benefactors. This chapter is organized around five major types of funding for heritage language programs: (1) community-based, (2) family-based, (3) U.S. federal, (4) private foundations, and (5) non–U.S. country-based funding. Throughout this chapter, information from the Heritage Language Programs Database, hosted by the Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages at the Center for Applied Linguistics, is used to provide examples of programs receiving funds from the various sources described. (See Center for Applied Linguistics, n.d.)

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