Hispanic popular culture : a proposal to incorporate it and use it as a didactic tool in the Spanish heritage classroom.


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Using the critical language and cultural awareness approach as a theoretical framework, this thesis demonstrates how Hispanic popular culture (HPC) reinforces the motivation of heritage students, helps them become more culturally competent, and teaches them about the diversity and representation of the Hispanic world. HPC has historically been omitted from Spanish heritage textbooks used in the U.S. I analyze four texts where HPC is practically nonexistent in these materials. In a series of surveys distributed to heritage students at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels of Spanish, I verified that all respondents demand HPC. To fill this gap, I propose three didactic units at each level that uses HPC as a didactic tool to help students reflect critically on diversity in Latin America. Students were then asked to answer a questionnaire that reflected how HPC motivated them to continue learning about current issues in the Hispanic world.