Spanish heritage language learners in East Central Indiana : teachers' attitudes and beliefs
The population of Hispanic children is on the rise throughout the country, including in East Central Indiana. These students, whose proficiency levels in Spanish may range from that of a native speaker to someone with no previous knowledge of Spanish, provide unique challenges for Spanish teachers. This study surveys pre-service teachers at Ball State University and in-service teachers throughout East Central Indiana about their pedagogical beliefs and attitudes toward Spanish heritage language learners placed in a standard second language classroom. I analyze their responses in an attempt to answer three research questions: 1) Are Spanish teachers in East Central Indiana aware of the unique challenges facing Spanish heritage language learners? 2) What are the pedagogical implications for inclusion of heritage language learners in standard second language acquisition classes at the secondary level? and 3) Is there a need for implementation of programs for Spanish as a heritage language in East Central Indiana high schools?