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Heritage Language Learners of Spanish: What Role Does Metalinguistic Knowledge Play in Their Acquisition of the Subjunctive?
Maite Correa
128-138 (complete paper or proceedings contents)

Abstract

This paper compares the degree of the impact that metalinguistic knowledge (MK) has on the acquisition of the subjunctive by foreign language (FL) and heritage language (HL) learners of Spanish. Preliminary results show that 1) FL learners improve in their mastery of subjunctive and MK across levels 2) HL learners improve significantly only in their MK in Spanish across levels; 3) correlations between MK and accuracy in the use of the subjunctive in FL learners of Spanish are positive and significant; and 4) correlations between MK and accuracy in the use of the subjunctive in HL learners of Spanish are non-significant. These results entail important consequences for curriculum design, since they support the long-advocated idea by HL specialists that Spanish programs should offer two separate FL and HL tracks where the focus on grammar needs to be addressed by differing approaches.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Luis A. Ortiz-López
Table of contents
Printed edition: $280.00