Developing a Spanish for Heritage Speakers Program for universities in Texas.
In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 37.6% of the persons in Texas were of Hispanic or Latino origin, up from 32.0% in 2000. As demographic trends across Texas show growing Hispanic populations, universities face increasingly Hispanic classrooms. For university-level Spanish programs, this increase demands a response to the fundamental learning differences between Spanish heritage speakers and foreign language learners. While some universities have implemented Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SHS) Programs, there exists a continuing need for state-wide expansion. This thesis argues for the development of SHS Programs in Texas by presenting various approaches to the teaching of SHS and by investigating the success of those already existing programs. This study provides a basis for the development of such a program, using the ACTFL Position Statement on Language Learning for Heritage and Native Speakers. Finally, the thesis proposes the development of these programs on a state-wide level.