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About Us

The National Heritage Language Resource Center, at the University of California, Los Angeles, is a federally funded language resource center whose mission is to develop effective pedagogical approaches to teaching heritage language learners, both by creating a research base and by pursuing curriculum design, materials development, and teacher education.

Over 57 million people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2010). Individuals exposed to a language other than English at home but educated primarily in English are heritage speakers of the home language.
The creation of a national center dedicated to heritage language education attests to the importance of this field to the nation. California is an ideal venue for NHLRC since almost 27% of its population five years of age and older is foreign born, and 42% speak a home language other than English (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2009).


Maria Polinsky

Co-Director of Research (Professor, University of Maryland)


Melissa Bowles

Co-Director of Pedagogy (Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)


Administrative Staff

Arturo Díaz

Executive Director


Claire Hitchins Chik

Associate Director


Susan Bauckus

Senior Editor


Sanja Lacan

Managing Editor, Heritage Language Journal


Leanna Kramer

Program Representative


Afaf Nash

Research Fellow


Web Team

Kaya Mentesoglu

IT Manager and Senior Developer


Sara Choi

IT Web Developer


Advisory Board

Richard Brecht, University of Maryland

Ray Clifford, Brigham Young University Center for Language Studies

Olesya Kisselev, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Judith Kroll, University of California, Irvine

Jin Sook Lee, University of California, Santa Barbara
Andrew Lynch, University of Miami, Florida

Tommy Lu, Chinese Community Schools of Delaware

Scott McGinnis, Defense Language Institute

Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Joy Kreeft Peyton, Center for Applied Linguistics

Margaret Malone, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Julio Torres, University of California, Irvine

Guadalupe Valdés, Stanford University

Juliana Wijaya, University of California, Los Angeles

Terrence Wiley, Past President, Center for Applied Linguistics

Eastern Region

Sybil Alexandrov, Yale University

Irina Dubinina, Brandeis University

Agnes Weigum He, State University of New York, Stony Brook

Gabriela Ilieva, New York University

Marie-Michelle Monereau, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Sara Shin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Alla Smyslova, Columbia University

Western Region

Masako Douglas, California State University, Long Beach

Linda Godson, Portland State University

Kimi Kondo-Brown, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Alejandro Lee, Santa Monica College

Jin Sook Lee, University of California, Santa Barbara

Namhee Lee, California State University, Los Angeles

Ekaterina Moore, University of Southern California

Alegría Ribadeneira, Colorado State University, Pueblo

Southern Region

Sara Beaudrie, University of Arizona

Victoria Hasko, University of Georgia, Athens

Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan, University of New Mexico

Diego Pascual y Cabo, University of Florida

Midwest Region

Melissa Bowles, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kim Potowski, The University of Illinois at Chicago

Laura Walls, University of Nebraska, Omaha

Wayne Wright, Purdue University