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Heritage Languages in America

Welcome to the Alliance News Flash

The Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages appreciates that you have profiled your program with us and have advanced the work of the Alliance. To thank you for your assistance, and to facilitate our communication, we have set up an electronic newsletter called "Alliance News Flash" We have subscribed you to this announcement-only news flash. We will send messages out on a periodic basis alerting you to resources and information that we feel would be of interest to you and to people working in your field. If you do not wish to receive these messages, you may unsubscribe any time using the links at the bottom of each message (including this one).

Articles and resources about heritage language education

This issue focuses on events and resources on Chinese Language Education – a conference hosted by the Asia Society and College Board, an article about Asian Americans, a new book, and video snapshots of Asian American students and celebrities.


April 17-19, 2008, the Asia Society and the College Board, in collaboration with others, hosted the National Conference on Chinese Language in the United States, with more than 700 participants from 44 states and all over the world. The sessions included starting Chinese language programs and professional development for teachers and administrators, as well as cultural presentations by high-profile Chinese leaders. Click here to see the News Release.

The conference report, Chinese in 2008: An Expanding Field, describes significant growth in Chinese language learning ľa 52% increase in students learning Chinese and 200% growth in Chinese programs in the United States since 2002. The report also describes the challenges facing the field. A PDF version of the report is available here.

An Awakened Culture: 2nd-Generation Asian Americans Embrace Identity, by Erin Chang Din. May 4, 2008. Metro final edition, Detroit Free Press.

This article explores the identity and cultural heritage of the fastest-growing ethnic group in Michigan, Asian Americans. Unlike past generations, Asians in Michigan fully embrace being both Asian and American due to an awakening of Asian heritage identity. This awakened sense of identity in many Asian Americans in the area is a result of several factors including celebrations such as the Asian Pacific American Heritage month. For a full copy of the article click here.

Book announcement

A new book, Chinese as a Heritage Language: Fostering Rooted World Citizenry, edited by Agnes Weiyun He and Yun Xiao, leading scholars in the field examines the dynamics of learning Chinese as a heritage language. The authors draw upon developmental psychology, functional linguistics, linguistic and cultural anthropology, second language acquisition, and bilingualism. They lay a foundation for theories, models, and master scripts to stimulate research and enhance teaching within and beyond Chinese language education. This book is available from the University of Hawaii Press. View the table of contents.


Asian Americans Celebrate: What's Your Story?

View the faces and hear the voices of Asian heritage language learners through interviews with these learners, who discuss issues of identity. Click on this link to hear the empowering messages they share through YouTube snapshots.

CAL News

An electronic newsletter published by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC., CAL News provides periodic updates about CAL projects, research, programs, and information about new products and services. (View a sample issue.) To subscribe CAL News click on the "Subscribe to CAL News" button on this page.  

If you would like these messages sent to another address, please send an email to me, Jacqueline Lopez, at jlopez@cal.org, and in the subject line write: Different email for the Alliance-News-Flash. We appreciate your active collaboration with the Alliance and your commitment to heritage language development. As you know, we are seeking to develop community among professionals working in heritage language education and research by periodically sending articles and other resources to this community. If you have announcements that you think should be sent out, please send them to jlopez@cal.org and in the subject line write "Alliance News Flash." Email me directly at the email above (rather than replying to this message) if you have any suggestions regarding information or materials that you would like others to receive from the Alliance.

Thank you very much for working with us and providing heritage language resources to the field.

Jacqueline Lopez
Research Associate
Alliance for the Advancement of Heritage Languages
Headquartered at the Center for Applied Linguistics
Washington, DC