Potowski K, Parada MA, Morgan-Short K. Developing an Online Placement Exam for Spanish Heritage Speakers and L2 Students. Heritage Language Journal. 2011;9 (1) :51-76.Abstract

This paper reports on the development and piloting of an adaptive, online placement exam that will be administered to L2 and heritage learners of Spanish at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Particular attention is given to the structure of the exam and the linguistic strategies employed to distinguish heritage speakers from L2 learners. Results obtained from three pilot phases are presented along with a description of modifications made during each stage. Further challenges and steps are outlined. 

Polinsky M. When L1 Becomes an L3: Adventures in Re-Learning. 2011. maria_polinsky.pdf
Parra ML, Otero A, del Flores RC. Building interdisciplinary and international partnership to support heritage language pedagogy:A journey of professional collaboration and learning. 2014. spanish_35_ucla-20141.pdf
Parra ML. The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures' Initiative on Teaching Spanish as a Heritage Language:Bringing Together a New Teaching and Learning Community.; Working Paper.Abstract

This report presents a summary of the activities between 2011 and 2014 that comprise the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures’ (RL&L) Initiative on Teaching of Spanish as a Heritage Language. This initiative includes two symposia, one new course, two collaborative research projects, a permanent seminar, and a lecture series. This report intends to provide a model for developing similar initiatives that help practitioners and researchers form new communities of practice to advance the field of teaching Spanish as a heritage language.


Key words: Heritage Spanish, heritage language pedagogy, collaborative research, initiative, seminar.

Montrul S. Linguistic Knowledge in Second Language Speakers: Where Are The Differences?. 2011. silvina_montrul.ppt
Montrul S, de la Fuente I, Davidson J, Foote R. The role of experience in the acquisition and production of diminutives and gender in Spanish: Evidence from L2 learners and heritage speakers . Second Language Research. 2012;29 (1) :87-118.Abstract

This study examined whether type of early language experience provides advantages to heritage speakers over second language (L2) learners with morphology, and investigated knowledge of gender agreement and its interaction with diminutive formation. Diminutives are a hallmark of Child Directed Speech in early language development and a highly productive morphological mechanism that facilitates the acquisition of declensional noun endings in many languages (Savickiene ̇ and Dressler, 2007). In Spanish, diminutives regularize gender marking in nouns with a non-canonical ending. Twenty-four Spanish native speakers, 29 heritage speakers and 37 L2 learners with intermediate to advanced proficiency completed two picture-naming tasks and an elicited production task. Results showed that the heritage speakers were more accurate than the L2 learners with gender agreement in general, and with non-canonical ending nouns in particular. This study confirms that early language experience and the type of input received confer some advantages to heritage speakers over L2 learners with early-acquired aspects of language, especially in oral production. 

Montrul S, de la Fuente I, Davidson J, Foote R. Early language experience facilitates the processing of gender agreement in Spanish heritage speakers. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

We examined how age of acquisition in Spanish heritage speakers and L2 learners interacts with implicitness vs. explicitness of tasks in gender processing of canonical and non-canonical ending nouns. Twenty-three Spanish native speakers, 29 heritage speakers, and 33 proficiency-matched L2 learners completed three on-line spoken word recognition experiments involving gender monitoring, grammaticality judgment, and word repetition. All three experimental tasks required participants to listen to grammatical and ungrammatical Spanish noun phrases (determiner–adjective–noun) but systematically varied the type of response required of them. The results of the Gender Monitoring Task (GMT) and the Grammaticality Judgment Task (GJT) revealed significant grammaticality effects for all groups in accuracy and speed, but in the Word Repetition Task (WRT), the native speakers and the heritage speakers showed a grammaticality effect, while the L2 learners did not. Noun canonicity greatly affected processing in the two experimental groups. We suggest that input frequency and reduced language use affect retrieval of non-canonical ending nouns from declarative memory in L2 learners and heritage speakers more so than in native speakers. Native-like processing of gender in the WRT by the heritage speakers is likely related to context of acquisition and particular experience with oral production. 

Montrul S. How "Native" Are Heritage Speakers?. Heritage Language Journal. 2013;10 (2) :15-39. montrul2013.pdf
Carreira M, Kagan O. The Results of the National Heritage Language Survey: Implications for Teaching, Curriculum Design, and Professional Development. Foreign Language Annals. 2011;44 (1) :40-64.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.