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Heritage Language Teaching as Critical Language Arts

Talk and Workshop with Kim Potowski, PhD

Heritage Language Teaching as Critical Language Arts

Kim Potowski, PhD, will discuss how heritage speakers are increasingly common in Spanish classrooms around the U.S. After sharing profiles of these students and how they are different from second-language learners, she will explore the importance of centering the needs of heritage speakers in Spanish programs in ways that lead to their personal, academic and linguistic development and support social justice. 

Potowski, professor of Spanish at the University of Illinois at Chicago, studies heritage language development, Spanish in the U.S., language and identity, and dual immersion education. She is co-editor of the journal Spanish in Context, and the author of numerous books including Spanish in Chicago (with Lourdes Torres) and IntraLatino Language and Identity: MexiRican Spanish.


8:30–9 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast

9–9:15 a.m.: Introductions

9:15–10:15 a.m.: HL Teaching as Critical Language Arts:

  • Differences between HL & L2 students
  • Differences among heritage speakers’ Spanish proficiency and identities
  • Why language arts makes good sense as the nucleus of HL instruction

10:15–10:30 a.m.: Break

10:30 a.m. to noon: Workshop:

  • Non-language-arts activities into language arts rich activities
  • How to incorporate language arts activities that honor U.S. Spanish
  • How to differentiate instruction in language arts

Noon to 12:30 p.m.: Book signing and presentation of certificates

12:30–1:30 p.m.: Lunch

The free event is open to the public, registration required.


Register by April 18

Sponsored By
The Languages and Cultures Department, the Graduate School of Education, EDUCAL and ESPHA grants


Gerda Jucys