Heritage language programs on the rise
In this Sept. 9, 2013 photo, University of Miami professor Francisca Aquilo-Mora works with students in her Spanish language class in Coral Gables, Fla. Learning a foreign language in college is a requisite for many students, but what if you grew up speaking that language, you just can't read it or write it? That's the case for many second-generation immigrant children. Over the last two decades, a growing number of schools have introduced foreign language classes for "heritage learners," students whose parents may have spoken a language like Spanish at home, but who were formally educated in English. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:00 am
MIAMI (AP) - One in five American children lives in a home where English isn't the sole language, but while these kids may chitchat in their families' native languages, they're often stuck when it comes to writing much beyond a grocery list. For years, educators didn't know what to do with these students who snoozed through basic language classes or drowned in more advanced ones - if their native language was offered at all.
Today, colleges nationwide are tailoring new programs for these students. Heritage Spanish classes in particular have bloomed across the Southwest, California and in Florida. Programs in Texas and Ohio focus exclusively on medical terms for heritage speakers. Harvard University added a heritage Spanish class this fall. Other popular heritage language programs include Russian, Chinese and Korean.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:00 am.