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New Language Policy Research Network Website Launched
CAL is pleased to host the Language Policy Research Network (LPREN), created by the Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée, (the International Association of Applied Linguistics) Research Networks committee in 2006. Learn more.

This online, searchable database of profiles allows heritage language programs to exchange ideas and resources with one another.


This page provides informational resources on language policy related to heritage language in the United States. Such policies can be difficult to identify and assess for a number of reasons. Because no explicit language policy exists in the United States at the federal level, language policy and planning are manifested, implicitly, through the sum of the government’s actions in various domains (Christian, 1999). Policies are also affected by a range of bottom-up factors that can be characterized as beliefs about language (ideologies) and language practices (Spolsky, 2003).

Some of the issues that arise in the educational sphere regarding the teaching of heritage languages and language policy include bilingual education, credit for education through community schools, the impact of the federal government’s No Child Left Behind act, and support for the teaching of indigenous languages.

A number of websites are dedicated to tracking language policy concerns related to heritage languages.


Christian, D. (1999). Looking at federal education legislation from a language policy/planning perspective. In T. Huebner & K. A. Davis (Eds.), Sociopolitical perspectives on language policy and planning in the USA: Vol. 16. Studies in bilingualism (pp. 117–130). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.

Spolsky, B. (2003). Language Policy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.