2. Language Attitudes of Heritage Speakers

Roxanna Villasenor Southeast Missouri State University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Jamila Loving Southeast Missouri State University
Serving as an exploratory exercise to identify themes and develop questions in preparation for a larger-scale survey and greater focus group participation this project aims to explore Spanish heritage speaker—one raised in a non-majority language speaking home and whom exhibit proficiency to a certain extent in both languages (Valdés, 2000)— attitudes about language in Cape Girardeau County, where the Latino population constitutes only 2.4% of the total population and Caucasians 88%(U.S. Census Bureau, 2018). These include but are not limited to educational experiences, social group interaction, and sentiments towards linguistic borrowing and self-identity journeys. Study procedures will include a brief interview with heritage speakers and a sorting, description-based activity to better understand code-switching and vocabulary acquisition patterns.
The structure of the interview will be informal, allowing both the participants and researcher to navigate existing social institutions that influence home life, the entertainment industry, and other variables concerning the use of language varieties. The data collected in this study will be used to develop a robust interview schedule for longitudinal research on setting-specific language activity and how they relate to underlying ideologies that contribute to word selection processes. This could potentially lead to language contact studies and how regions with larger Spanish-speaking populations in the United States relate to language proficiency in reading, writing and speaking capabilities. Furthermore, literacy in the heritage language can be evaluated through linguistic analysis and how these compare to generational knowledge. Case studies of past investigations will be noted when selecting future methods related to this project.
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library 2nd Floor