Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

First Advisor

Susan Hildebrandt


Heritage language learners (HLLs) in college are studied more than other groups of students with differences, and they are becoming more prevalent in the foreign language (FL) classroom. For the purpose of this study, HLL is defined as; an individual who has parents from a Spanish-speaking country, but was born in the United States and has an almost complete speaking proficiency and any range of grammatical dominance of Spanish (Valdés 2001). This definition eliminates those students who were born in Spanish-speaking countries and those who have little to no dominance of either speaking proficiency and grammatical dominance of the language. While this group has been studied within the context of a FL classroom, especially with cultural identity in mind, there are still more areas that need to be addressed. HLLs' cultural identity and how it influences motivation in the classroom, as well as its influence on perceived challenges and successes of HLLs, are in need of investigation. With the rising number of immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, the time is now to research this group of students and how they fit in the FL classroom. The cultural identity of HLLs enrolled in an FL course will be examined using a survey and interview to better address their motivation and perceived challenges and successes that come with being part of this subgroup.


Imported from ProQuest Reitz_ilstu_0092N_10265.pdf


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