In episode 84, Stacey shares interviews with several teachers who all work with heritage learners in different contexts. First, Chris Cashman tells us about what has worked for him in his secondary heritage language classes and how his OPI (oral proficiency interview) training has proved valuable. Then, we hear three interviews from ACTFL: Maria Manni, Felix Burgos, and Shannon Hahn all tell us about the challenges and opportunities they face in their contexts. Finally, Kim Potowski, professor and director of a university heritage language program, answers a few frequently asked questions posed by Florencia Henshaw during an online Q&A. Check out the show notes for more information about each guest and the resources they mention.


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Show Notes

We welcome feedback, resources, and diverse perspectives on this topic! To contribute to the conversation started here, leave us a voicemail or send a text message to (629)888-3398. Or you can follow us on Twitter @weteachlang or use this contact form to send us an email.

Chris Cashman teaches at a high school located in a traditionally Puerto Rican neighborhood, although most of his heritage students are of Mexican background and come from outside the immediate area. He incorporates the history of his neighborhood in his heritage courses by learning about the history of the community and important figures and references here.  Chris was OPI certified this past July and is interested in contributing insights as to how ACTFL proficiency levels relate to the heritage classroom. Chris is @senordineroman on Twitter, Instragram, and his blog.

Maria Manni is Senior Lecturer and Language Teaching Coordinator at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She teaches full time, designs the curriculum for undergraduate Spanish classes delivered through blended face-to-face and online instruction, and mentors and trains graduate teaching assistants and adjunct faculty who teach under her supervision. Before moving to Maryland, she worked as Senior Lecturer of Spanish at the University of Rochester and as TESOL teacher at bilingual k-12 schools. The most recent presentations of her research at national and international conferences (ACTFL, CERCLL, CUAHLE, PETALL) focused on curriculum and assessment design, blended and online learning, inclusive education, competency based education and digital literacy for the development of language and critical cultural awareness skills. You can find Maria’s departmental listing here.

Felix Burgos teaches in the department of World Languages and Cultures at Indiana University East. His current research focuses on the processes of memory and memorialization in the midst of Colombia’s armed conflict. Other research interests are language educational technologies, critical heritage studies, multimodality, mapping, rhetorics, and digital humanities. Felix is co-editor of the E-Journal Textshop Experiments, which fosters experimental works within the framework of Electracy (or the new apparatus after literacy).  You can learn more about his department here.

Shannon Hahn is the chair of foreign languages and a Spanish instructor at Durham Technical Community College. She can be reached by email.

Kim Potowski is Professor of Hispanic linguistics and Director of the Heritage Language Program in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a faculty affiliate in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and in the Social Justice Initiative. She is the founding director of the Language in Context Research Group, and she has served as Executive Editor of the journal Spanish in Context since 2009. Her work focuses on Spanish in the United States, including factors that influence intergenerational language transmission, connections between language and identity, and heritage language education. Some of her recent research topics include language development in dual immersion schools, the language and identity of mixed “Mexi-Rican” individuals, and the
use of “Spanglish” in commercially published greeting cards. She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards, including the UIC campus-wide Award for Excellence in Teaching. You can learn more about her work here.


Some resources related to this episode…

…How do you become OPI certified? Here are the details.

…I mentioned a tweet of Chris Cashman’s that I really liked.


…Chris mentions the 5 Cs. Here they are in case you want more details:

…Kim Potowski’s full Q&A through CLIC (the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Center for Language Instruction and Coordination) is available here:

…CLIC has many other resources, workshops, and webinars available to language instructors. Follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

…check out the Twitter hashtag #heritagelang to find more heritage language teachers to connect with

Previous episodes of WTL you might enjoy…

…Last week’s episode was also on heritage language teaching Episode 83: Resources and Research on Teaching Heritage Learners with Maria Carreira

…To hear more from Florencia Henshaw and CLIC Episode 57: CLIC Resources, TalkAbroad, and Online Teaching with Florencia Henshaw

…To hear more interviews Stacey conducted at ACTFL Episode 80: Reflections and Takeaways from #ACTFL18

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