Spanish for Heritage Learners

New Mexico Highlands offers a series of courses designed for heritage language learners.

  • Spanish 111: Beginning Spanish as a Heritage Language I
  • Spanish 112: Beginning Spanish as a Heritage Language II
  • Spanish 211: Intermediate Spanish as a Heritage Language I
  • Spanish 212: Intermediate Spanish as a Heritage Language II

The Spanish for Heritage Learners courses focus on fostering awareness of the cultural resources bilingual students bring to the classroom in a confidence-building environment.

Through our program of study, heritage language students will:

  • Expand their bilingual skills in a wide range of contexts
  • Learn more about Spanish-speaking cultural heritages in the United States
  • Broaden their personal histories with the cultural experiences of the various groups of U.S. Latinos
  • Obtain a range of practice in oral and written skills in the Spanish language through the Spanish-speaking world
  • Become prepared to enroll in upper-division courses leading to a major or minor in Spanish

Who is a Heritage Learner?

A heritage language speaker is someone who grew-up in a home where a language other than English was spoken.  The student speaks or merely understands the heritage language.  This includes a range of bilingual proficiencies, from individuals who can understand Spanish but who cannot speak it to those who understand and speak it but want to develop their writing skills.  The program accommodates all varieties of heritage speakers acknowledging their specific needs toward a successful mastery of the language.

Spanish for Heritage Learner Courses

Spanish 111 and Spanish 112: Provides students with an opportunity to enhance their speaking abilities in Spanish with confidence-building activities.  Special attention is given to communication skills that will allow students to speak Spanish in a wide range of social contexts.

Spanish 211 and 212:  Builds on the linguistic competence students already have in order to expand their proficiency for language use in a wide variety of situations.  Although the main focus of the class is written and oral development, all skills including reading and listening are practiced in a positive and supportive environment.  Through varied activities and instructions methods, students will achieve greater flexibility in their oral, written, listening, and reading abilities in the language.  Grammar and spelling issues that are problematic to students will also be covered.

Did You Know:

  • Heritage languages courses are not necessarily more difficult than second-language learner courses.
  • They are not only for fluent speakers of Spanish.
  • They have been designed for students of this background and are therefore more beneficial.
  • Many heritage language learners obtain lower grades in the second-language learner courses and find them difficult.
  • Students can share similar language experiences and similar obstacles.
  • All materials and texts are carefully chosen to target heritage learners.
  • Heritage language classes have a curriculum that centers on the student’s cultural heritage.
  • Heritage languages are fun!