Maria Villagomez

Heritage Speakers of Spanish

Definition of a Heritage Speaker: “a student who is raised in a home where a non-English language is spoken, who speaks or merely understands the heritage language and who is to some degree bilingual in English and the heritage language”  (Valdés, 2000)


Heritage Speakers of Spanish -- Resource Page:


Are you a Heritage Speaker of Spanish? 

If so, you will find important information on this page that will help guide your decision when selecting a Spanish class. The following research articles suggest that generally speaking, Heritage Speakers of Spanish need Spanish courses specifically designed for them due to their significant linguistic differences to L1 learners (native English speakers learning Spanish as a second language), motivations, goals, and academic needs.  Feel free to read through these articles/presentations and please don't hesitate to email me or visit me to ask questions. We are here to help you.

Eric Digest, Hancock Study

Potowski, Study on Heritage Learners´classroom experiences

Tallon, Study on Heritage Learners

Alarcón, Advanced Heritage Learners, Study

Montrul Study on Heritage Learners

Heritage Language Journal: Heritage Speakers Research

Helping Young Latinos Learn Spanish:

Spanish for Spanish Speakers: Developing Dual Language Proficiency:

Teaching Spanish to Native Speakers:


 Not sure of your Spanish level?  Take this placement exam.

Free Advisory Placement Exam


Best Practices for Teaching Spanish to Heritage Speakers







mujer ballet