chapter  11
19 Pages

Why Bother to Continue Learning a Heritage Language? Mainstream Policies and the Politics of Heritage Language Maintenance

WithNERIKO MUSHA DOERR AND KIRI LEE

What makes a child want to keep learning his/her heritage language? What learning environments are conducive to children learning heritage languages? These are questions this chapter addresses. A “heritage language” is a language spoken at home while another language is spoken in mainstream society. The “heritage language speaker” has been broadly defi ned in the US as one “who is raised in a home where a non-English language is spoken, who speaks or at least understands the language, and who is to some degree bilingual in that language and in English” (Valdés 2001, 38).