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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Meaningful Writing in the Heritage Language Class: A Case Study of Heritage Learners of Spanish in Canada

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This article reports on a classroom-based experience that draws from the critical approach to heritage Spanish language teaching and Hanauer’s concept of meaningful writing. Participants were three students enrolled in a first-year course for heritage Spanish speakers at a major Canadian public university. The writing component of this language course was fulfilled through online discussions and individual compositions that revolved around social, cultural and personal topics relevant to the linguistic experience of students. This study will demonstrate that placing meaningful writing at the core of heritage languages course not only encourages students to reflect on their own language identity and the role of Spanish in the Canadian society, but also fully engages them in the process of writing in Spanish.

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