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Article

The Effect of Perceptions: Instructor–Student Dynamics in the Spanish Heritage Classroom

1
Independent Researcher, Frisco, TX 75035, USA
2
School of Professional Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
3
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
4
Department of Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Languages 2021, 6(1), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6010046
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 5 March 2021 / Published: 14 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Instructed Heritage Language Acquisition in Diverse Contexts)
The rising population of heritage speakers (HS) in university courses in the US has increased the need for instructors who understand the linguistic, social, and cultural profiles of their students. Recent research has discussed the need for specialized courses and their differentiation from second-language (L2) classes, as well as the intersection between HS and language attitudes. However, prior studies have not examined HS students’ language attitudes toward the sociolinguistic background of the instructors and their effect on classroom interactions. Therefore, this study explores HS students’ overall language attitudes and perceptions of their instructors’ sociolinguistic background. In a survey, HS university students (N = 92) across the US assessed four instructor profiles along five dimensions. Results showed that students rated more favorably instructors born and raised in Latin America, followed by those from Spain. Furthermore, HS favored these two profiles over HS or L2 profiles as their course instructors. However, preferences were less marked in the online context. These findings demonstrate that to design supportive learning spaces with—rather than for—HS students, programs must first acknowledge how classroom dynamics are shaped by the perspectives brought into the learning space and by the context of the learning space itself. View Full-Text
Keywords: heritage speakers; language ideologies; linguistic attitudes; language acquisition; program development; classroom dynamics; pedagogy heritage speakers; language ideologies; linguistic attitudes; language acquisition; program development; classroom dynamics; pedagogy
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MDPI and ACS Style

González Darriba, P.; Kinsella, B.; Marull, C.; Campbell, N. The Effect of Perceptions: Instructor–Student Dynamics in the Spanish Heritage Classroom. Languages 2021, 6, 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6010046

AMA Style

González Darriba P, Kinsella B, Marull C, Campbell N. The Effect of Perceptions: Instructor–Student Dynamics in the Spanish Heritage Classroom. Languages. 2021; 6(1):46. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6010046

Chicago/Turabian Style

González Darriba, Patricia, Benjamin Kinsella, Crystal Marull, and Nathan Campbell. 2021. "The Effect of Perceptions: Instructor–Student Dynamics in the Spanish Heritage Classroom" Languages 6, no. 1: 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6010046

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