Opportunities for Heritage Language Learners to Attain Literacy Skills in the L2 Classroom
A HL speaker is someone who is raised in a home where a non-English language is spoken and the individual can to some degree speak that HL, or understand it, making the speakers either passive (e.g. can comprehend the input of the language) or bi-literate (e.g. able to produce the language through writing) in their HL and English. These special types of speakers can get exposed to the HL at home and in their immediate communities, but end up receiving their formal education entirely in English. “They receive no instruction in the heritage language during the elementary or secondary grades and as a result become literate only in English”. This means the majority language eventually becomes the dominant one. Furthermore, HL speakers can be categorized into categories, which are “generation 1.0” (e.g. immigrated to the United States after the age of 18), “1.5” (e.g. immigrated into the United States before the age of 18) or “2.0” (e.g. born and raised in the United States, and because they often times find themselves consequently having lower quality proficiency of their HL in comparison to native speakers of the same language, it leads to HL speakers being teased for their lack of proficiency. This can impact the HL speakers’ inadequateness to the point that it can hinder their own self-esteem and make them insecure about their HL abilities.