In episode 116, Carolyn Siegel interviews Dr. Damian Vergara Wilson, Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico. As a graduate of the program he now directs, his ultimate goal for his heritage learners is for them to view themselves as legitimate Spanish speakers. In this interview he shares what that looks like both in a broad view and in specific projects students undertake.


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Download the printable episode guide here and the full transcript here.


Show Notes

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Resources related to this episode…

From Identity to Commodity: Ideologies of Spanish in Heritage Language Textbooks Glenn Martinez and Jennifer Leeman



…Glenn Martínez’s Classroom based dialect awareness in heritage language instruction: A critical applied linguistic approach

Innovative Strategies for Heritage Language Teaching (mentioned in the episode)

National Symposium of Spanish as a Heritage Language

National Heritage Language Resource Center

And check out these previous episodes related to heritage language teaching…

…Episode 84: Teachers’ Perspectives on Heritage Language Teaching

Episode 83: Resources and Research on Teaching Heritage Learners with Maria Carreira

And check out these additional resources emailed to us by WTL Contributor, Dr. Cynthia Ducar…

…Heritage Language Teaching: Research and Practice by Beaudrie, Ducar & Potowski.

…Also Spanish as a Heritage Language in the US: The State of the Field, edited by Beaudrie and Fairclough.

…Also, the brand new Spanish as a Heritage Language Journal will be a great resource.



If you would like to reference this episode, here is our suggested APA citation:

Siegel, C. (Interviewer), & Johnson, S. M. (Producer). (2019). We Teach Language Episode 116: Linguistic Variation and Serving Diverse Heritage Learners with Damian Vergara Wilson [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

3 thoughts on “We Teach Languages Episode 116: Linguistic Variation and Serving Diverse Heritage Learners with Damian Vergara Wilson

  1. This podcast accurately describes the community of learners I taught for seventeen years. This approach validates students enabling them to expand intellectually thanks for the practical suggestions

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