Eleventh Heritage Language Research Institute

Heritage Languages in Unexpected Places


June 10-13, 2019
University of New Mexico


Heritage languages in Unexpected Places

Director: Maria Polinsky, (University of Maryland, College Park)

Organizer: Tanya Ivanova-Sullivan (University of New Mexico)

For over a decade, research in the field of heritage languages (HLs) has focused on understanding the linguistic properties of HLs in all contexts from childhood to adulthood. This understanding has informed best practices in HL education, helping heritage speakers develop higher proficiency through language programs that address their linguistic and identity needs. The HL research that underpins these findings has focused on more widely-studied languages such as Spanish, Russian, or Chinese.

However, HLs are everywhere, not only in these communities nor in typical immigrant environments. More needs to be done to understand the effects of language development and education in understudied bilingual populations with respect to heritage development. This Institute will bring together scholars who have long worked on more familiar HLs as well as researchers working on Native American languages (which often have heritage language varieties), sign languages (in the context of bimodal bilingualism), creole languages (as a paradigmatic case of language contact), and several lesser-studied HLs. Methods needed to address the linguistic and sociocultural dynamics experienced by these bilingual populations can be refined in comparison with established teaching methods. Joint discussions at the Institute will further our understanding of language change under intense contact and will allow us to propose new policies and educational strategies needed to maintain and promote heritage languages among their speakers.

Join us for this year’s Heritage Language Research Institute on June 10-13, 2019, at the University of New Mexico. The Institute will feature presentations by researchers, discussion sessions, and two round table sessions: (1) on HL support in schools with the aim of helping heritage speakers succeed personally, linguistically, and academically, and (2) on lesser-studied HLs in larger HL contexts.



The Institute will also host a workshop.


Registration Prices

$100 - Institute only

$125 - Institute and Workshop

$75 - Workshop only