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Heritage Speakers and the Standard: Fighting Linguistic Hegemony
N. Ariana Mrak
161-168 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Much discussion continues to take place in the area of Heritage Language Education regarding what variety of Spanish needs to be the target of instruction for bilingual students in the U.S. This paper argues that in the same way Suarez (2002) suggests speakers of heritage languages must acquire the dominant language in order to fight linguistic hegemony, these same speakers need to learn the academic variety of their heritage language to maintain and defend their home varieties. For this purpose, the concept of hegemony as proposed by Gramsci (1971) is used to analyze the linguistic sovereignty imposed on speakers of U.S. varieties of Spanish by those individuals or groups claiming to speak the standard variety. Even though the socio-political environment in the U.S. points to a continued preference for English monolingualism, for bilingualism to become an advantage for the Hispanic population, not just for the foreign language learner (Pomerantz 2002), heritage speakers need to go beyond learning English to adding the academic variety of their heritage language to their linguistic repertoire.

Published in

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