About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 5646 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

TEACHER CANDIDATES TALK ABOUT HERITAGE LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE: VIEWS AND POSSIBLE APPROACHES

T. Szecsi1, J. Szilagyi2, G. Giambo1

1Florida Gulf Coast University (UNITED STATES)
2The College at Brockport, State University of New York (UNITED STATES)
Is it an asset or a burden to be bilingual? Although the significance of bilingualism is understood by many people worldwide, immigrant families often struggle with the maintenance of their heritage language (HL) and culture. HL is conceptualized as a non-majority language that is spoken and used by individuals who are considered to be a linguistic minority (Valdes, 2005). Of course, parents play a pivotal role in the process of HL maintenance, but teachers’ recognition of the importance of the HL is critical to the empowerment of the child. Research supports this notion, showing that a lack of support from schools, communities, and society often jeopardizes parents’ intentions for maintaining the HL (Nesteruk, 2010). Research on teachers’ views about HL suggests that teachers who understand the benefits of bilingualism and the negative effects of HL loss tend to be more sensitive to the linguistic needs of bilingual learners. On the other hand, teachers without background in a second language strongly believe that HL maintenance is the responsibility of the parents only (Lee & Oxelson, 2006). Although research exists about teachers’ views about HL maintenance, there is no previous research that examines teacher candidates’ views on HL development and support. It is crucial to investigate teacher candidates’ views, because the findings of such investigation can offer significant recommendations for teacher education programs. As a result, teacher candidates can graduate with knowledge, skills and dispositions that will support HL maintenance of minority children.

To address the gap in current literature on teacher candidates’ views on heritage language maintenance, a study was conducted at a middle sized university in Florida. Data was collected from 280 teacher candidates at various stages in the teacher preparation program, at entry and exit levels.

The purpose of the investigation was to examine which of the following have an impact on teacher candidates’ views on students’ HL maintenance:
1) the quantity of multicultural and language courses,
(2) an ability to speak more than one language,
(3) the extent of their exposure to cultures and languages in schools and work, and
(4) their travel experiences.

This study also explored teacher candidates’ views on their role in students' HL maintenance and their ideas for supporting students’ HL maintenance.
This presentation will report on the finding of this investigation and share implications for teacher educators on factors that might impact the quality of preparation. In addition, it will provide ideas for teachers on how to effectively guide children in learning two languages. Participants will also learn about ideas for facilitating teacher candidates’ understanding of their critical role in heritage language (HL) maintenance and of classroom strategies that promote HL.

References:
[1] Lee, J. S., & Oxelson, E. (2006). “It is not my job”: K-12 teacher attitudes toward students’ heritage language maintenance. Bilingual Research Journal, 30(2), 453-477.
[2] Nesteruk, O. (2010). Heritage language maintenance and loss among children of Eastern European immigrants in the USA. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 31(3), 271-286.
[3] Valdes, G. (2005). Bilingualism, heritage language learners, and SLA research: Opportunities lost or seized? Modern Language Journal, 89(3), 410-426.
@InProceedings{SZECSI2014TEA,
author = {Szecsi, T. and Szilagyi, J. and Giambo, G.},
title = {TEACHER CANDIDATES TALK ABOUT HERITAGE LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE: VIEWS AND POSSIBLE APPROACHES},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5646}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Szecsi AU - J. Szilagyi AU - G. Giambo
TI - TEACHER CANDIDATES TALK ABOUT HERITAGE LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE: VIEWS AND POSSIBLE APPROACHES
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 5646
EP - 5646
ER -
T. Szecsi, J. Szilagyi, G. Giambo (2014) TEACHER CANDIDATES TALK ABOUT HERITAGE LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE: VIEWS AND POSSIBLE APPROACHES, INTED2014 Proceedings, p. 5646.
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