Associate Professor Carolina Bustamante of Adolescence Education and Modern Languages and co-investigator Dr. Miguel Novella from Eastern Washington University were invited by the Spanish department at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México to participate in their professional development series for faculty on current pedagogical matters on the teaching of Spanish.
Conducted on November 17, 2023, their virtual presentation, “Heritage Speakers as Teachers of Spanish at the Secondary Level: Challenges and Needs” talked about the development of heritage speakers as language teachers in the United States.
The session covered the findings of a study conducted by Bustamante and Novella and published in 2019 in the Foreign Language Annals of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. In the research, they explored the experiences of eight Latina heritage speakers who were enrolled in world language teacher preparation programs at two higher education institutions.
Using data from interviews, classroom observations, and other documents, the qualitative multiple-case study investigated their educational experiences and the challenges involved in attaining initial Spanish teacher certification. Four themes emerged: motivation to become a world language teacher, language awareness, developing professional and pedagogical knowledge, and issues related to the academic program.