Key concepts for theorizing Spanish as a heritage language

Andrew Lynch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


DURING THE 1970S, in the aftermath of the civil rights movement and the formation of La Raza, a critical mass of studies on Spanish in the United States emerged. The scholars who undertook these studies were different than their early-twentieth-century predecessors, who had developed detailed descriptions of language use and form. Instead, many scholars in the 1970s and early 1980s took up ideological and theoretical issues (e.g., language "loyalty," as discussed by Sánchez 1972; and "diglossia," as proposed by Fishman, Cooper, and Ma 1971).1 With the growing presence of "native speaker" students in university Spanish courses, the phenomena of fluent vernacular bilingualism and language "loss" posed pedagogical challenges. At that time, Valdés (1978, 103) affirmed that "defining native language instruction for the profession⋯ is simply a question of deciding exactly what teaching a standard dialect of a language involves" (emphasis in the original). The first premise that she posited for a "comprehensive language development program" for bilingual speakers was "a dedication to bringing about the acquisition of 'educated' language use to include an overall development of total proficiency as characteristic of educated speakers of any language" (p. 106).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpanish as a Heritage Language in the United States
Subtitle of host publicationThe State of the Field
PublisherGeorgetown University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781589019393
ISBN (Print)9781589019386
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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