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Learning and Teaching

Sample Heritage Language Curricula (various levels)

This page contains curricula that were created by heritage language (HL) instructors who have participated in our summer HL teacher workshop. These projects are course curricula that incorporate principles of HL pedagogy and which have been placed into practice in real-world classrooms.

STARTALK Curriculum Templates (High School level)

Most heritage languages are also less commonly taught languages, and few materials exist for teachers that are appropriate or can be adapted for heritage language instruction. NHLRC, with support from the National Foreign Language Center’s STARTALK Program, is committed to the development of materials that are suitable for heritage language instruction. The following language materials were created for use in our summer High School Language courses.


 2010 Arabic Workbook

2010 Workbook

2011 Arabic Workbook

 2011 Workbook

2012 Arabic Workbook

 2012 Workbook

 Arabic Curriculum Template



2011 Armenian Workbook

2011 Workbook

2012 Armenian Workbook

2012 Workbook

 2013 Armenian Workbook

2013 Workbook

Armenian Curriculum Template



2012 Hindi Workbook

2012 Workbook 

 Hindi Curriculum Template



2010 Persian Workbook

2010 Workbook

 2011 Persian Workbook

2011 Workbook

2012 Persian Workbook

2012 Workbook

 Persian Curriculum Template Level 1  Persian Curriculum Template Level 2  



 2011 Russian Workbook

2011 Workbook

2012 Russian Workbook

2012 Workbook

2013 Russian Workbook

2013 Workbook


Online Script Courses

We created the following online script courses to give high school heritage learners a head start before taking our UCLA summer courses. They are specially designed for heritage learners, taking their knowledge of basic vocabulary and oral skills into account to make a bridge to literacy. Each tutorial is sequential: teachers introduce a certain number of letters in each lesson, providing multiple ways to practice identifying and writing each letter. The following lessons build on the previous ones, until students are practicing reading, listening to, and writing all the letters in the alphabet. Because of this structure, we recommend that you begin at the beginning and go through the lessons in order without skipping. We hope you enjoy these tutorials and let us know whether they helped you learn.







2010 Arabic Workboook 2010 Arabic Workbook 2010 Arabic Workbook 2011 Arabic Workbook 2012 Arabic Workbook 2011 Armenian Workbook 2012 Armenia Workbook 2013 Armenian Workbook 2012 Hindi Workbook

The following podcasts are dedicated to heritage language research, education, pedagogy, and lived experience. They address issues that the NHLRC has identified through its surveys, or which have been raised by participants in workshops and conferences. If you have any suggestions or requests to address specific issues, please email us at


 November 14, 2021

Teaching Grammar to L2 Hindi Heritage Language Learners

An interview with Rajiv Rajan on the role of grammar instruction for Heritage second/foreign language learners (HLLs).


 November 8, 2021

Hindi Heritage Learners' Performance during OPIs: Characteristics and Pedagogical Implications.
An interview with Dr. Gabriela Ilieva from New York University about Hindi language learners and their performance during ACTFL OPIs.


 October 27, 2020

Online Heritage Language Instruction

An interview with Dr. Florencia Henshaw, instructor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


 October 18, 2021

NorCal Girl Scout Troop: Building Hindi Language Proficiency during the Pandemic through Research Informed SLA

 An interview with Bhavya Singh, an Instructor Technology Specialist with STARTALK, who discusses a project-based learning in a Hindi immersion girl scout troop in Northen California.


 October 10, 2020

Webinar: Latino Heritage Panel

A panel interview  with leaders in Spanish as a Heritage Language including  Krystal Kurtz, Alejandro Lee, Jazmin Mier, Diego Pascual y Cabo, and Dr. Alegria Ribadeniera.


September 22, 2020

Instructed Heritage Language Acquisition

An interview with Associate Professor Melissa Bowles from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign about the significance within the emerging field of Instructed Heritage Language Acquisition.


 October 18, 2019

The Armenian Experience

An interview with Michael Abassian, a former UCLA student.


 October 2, 2019

Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

An interview with Dr. Joy Peyton, Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools


 October 1, 2019

The Global Seal of Biliteracy

An interview with Linda Egnatz, the Executive Director of the Global Seal of Biliteracy


 August 28, 2019

A Heritage Speaker's Experience with Eastern Armenian

An interview with John Torosyan (University of Cincinnati).


 August 23, 2019

Language anxiety when speaking Armenian

A follow-up interview with Gevick Safarians (University of California, Los Angeles). 


 August 21, 2019

A Persian-Armenian's Linguistic Experiences

An interview with Gevick Safarians (University of California, Los Angeles)


 August 14, 2019

A Narrowly Defined Learner's Experiences with Eastern Armenian

An interview with Anahit Pogossian from the University of California, Los Angeles.


 August 6, 2019

The nuances of teaching Western Armenian

Jesse Arlen returns to discuss his teaching experience with Shushan Karapetian.


  August 5, 2019

 An Armenian's experiences with Armenian

 An interview with Jesse Arlen (University of California, Los Angeles).


 July 23, 2019

 Research on HL bilingualism and implications for teaching: Focus on Russian

 An interview with Russian professor Irina Dubinina (Brandeis University).


 July 12, 2019

Understanding and leveraging broad-definition HL learners' motivations through the linguistic autobiography

An interview with graduate student Natalie Nutman (California State University, Long Beach)


 July 11, 2019

Organizing principles and best practices for mixed classes

An interview with Alegría Ribadeneira (Colorado State University, Pubelo)


As heritage languages gain more attention in the public domain, universities have begun to offer courses that introduce students to social, cultural, pedagogical, and linguistic challenges of heritage languages, make one think what it means to be a heritage speaker in a modern society, and dispel persistent misconceptions and stereotypes about bilingualism. It is encouraging that such courses are offered in addition to (and sometimes in connection with) language courses for heritage re-learners. An introductory class on heritage languages and their speakers may be a true melting pot where a student taking Mandarin for Mandarin speakers, a student taking Spanish for Spanish speakers, and a monolingual English speaker who has never had any experience with bilingual families study side by side, compare experiences, and learn new concepts from such diverse fields as sociology, psychology, education, and linguistics. It is our hope that more and more universities will offer more general education classes (as well as higher division classes) on heritage speakers. This website presents syllabi, class materials, and samples of students' work from several such classes offered throughout the country. If you or your colleagues have offered such a course please send us your materials for posting.



Course Syllabi and Research Papers

The following are syllabi from classes taught by Maria Polinsky on the subject of heritage language learners (HLLs) at the University of California, Los Angeles and at the University of Maryland, and Vera Gribanova's syllabus from her graduate course on HLLs at Stanford University.

The following works are final papers from Maria Polinsky's course "Heritage Languages and Their Speakers" at the University of Maryland.



The Coalition of Community-Based Language Schools is a nationwide initiative established to support, guide, and promote the interests of community-based heritage language schools and organizations across the United States. The NHLRC has partnered with the Coalition to disseminate resources and information through a website and forum with the aim to facilitate communication among these community-based heritage language schools/programs.

Visit the website of the Coalition of Community-based Heritage Language Schools