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Professional Development

Since becoming a language resource center, the NHLRC has convened four quadrennial International Conferences on Heritage/Community languages and partnered with affiliates to host other conferences as well.

International Heritage Language Conferences

The quadrennial International Conferences have provided two-day forums that have brought together heritage language researchers, instructors, and specialists from around the world to discuss issues, relevant to heritage/community language studies as a multi-disciplinary field.

4th International Heritage Language Conference: June 16-17, 2022

3rd International Heritage Language Conference: February 16-17, 2018

2nd International Heritage Language ConferenceMarch 7-8, 2014

1st International Heritage Language Conference: February 19-21, 2010

Other Conferences

A Memorial Conference Honoring the Legacy of Olga Kagan: May 31, 2019

The UCLA Center for World Languages, the Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures, and the Division of the Humanities held a conference celebrating the legacy of Professor Olga E. Kagan. The all-day conference brought together scholars from UCLA and around the country who worked closely with her, to present on topics that are representative of her extraordinary career on heritage language teaching and second language acquisition.

Language Teacher Education Conference 2017: February 2-4, 2017

The NHLRC partnered with our sister LRC the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition to bring together domestic and international language teacher educators, instructors, and administrators, at a three-day conference, hosted on the UCLA campus.

Community Language Schools Conference: Saturday, April 13, 2013

This conference brought together teachers and administrators of community language schools with local faculty and graduate student researchers.

Summer Heritage Language Teacher Workshops

Since 2009, the NHLRC has held annual week-long workshops on the UCLA campus that have focused on training cohorts of K-16 and community school instructors of heritage languages in the development of innovative heritage curricula to address the challenge of teaching heritage language (HL) students. The participants in these workshops have engaged in hands-on activities that have involved the development, presentation, and critique of projects that can be used with heritage language students. Visit each workshop page to see the heritage language curricula submitted for each of the represented languages.


2023 NHLRC Heritage Language Teacher Workshop: June 1-29, 2023


Previous Workshops

      2021 Workshop 
2020 Workshop 2019 Workshop

2018 Workshop

2017 Workshop

2016 Workshop

2015 Workshop 2014 Workshop 2013 Workshop

2012 Workshop

2011 Workshop 2010 Workshop 2009 Workshop

Since 2007, the NHLRC has conducted and partnered with affiliates to host research institutes that have focused on addressing the pressing need for empirical data on the grammar of heritage language learners and exploring the connections between these findings and heritage language teaching.


Fourteenth Research Institute (2023): Heritage languages and communities in the post-pandemic world

June 5-8, 2023 at UCLA


Previous Institutes

       Thirteen Institute (2021)
Twelfth Institute (2020) Eleventh Institute (2019)  Tenth Institute (2017)

 Ninth Institute (2016)

 Eighth Institute (2015)

 Seventh Institute (2013)

 Sixth Institute (2012)  Fifth Institute (2011)

Fourth Institute (2010)

 Third Institute (2009)  Second Institute (2008)  First Institute (2007) 

Online Workshop

In conjunction with STARTALK, the National Heritage Language Resource Center has developed this online course for language instructors who teach heritage language (HL) students. (A HL student has grown up in a home in which a language other than the dominant societal one is spoken and has enrolled in a class to study that language.)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 20% of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English at home (Source: U.S. Census Bureau). As the number of HL learners continues to grow, language teachers need to be well versed in the foundational principles of HL teaching and be able to enact them in their particular language and instructional context. With this in mind, our course aims to:

  • provide an in-depth understanding of the needs, both linguistic and affective, of HL students, and
  • detail pedagogical practices that ongoing research and classroom experience indicate best meet those needs.

The course consists of five self-paced modules: Each module is comprised of five to eight lessons, with each lesson further subdivided into segments organized around videos that average approximately three minutes in length. The modules build on each other and form a coherent whole, but each module also functions as a stand-alone unit, and participants can choose either to cover all the modules or only those they find useful.

  • Thought Exercises: Each lesson has 1-3 Thought Exercises which probe understanding of the content. These tasks are short, taking 5-10 minutes to complete. Once completed, computer feedback is automatically provided.
  • Module Assignments: Each module culminates with an assignment that synthesizes the information presented in the module's lessons. The average estimated time complete an assignment is 2 hours. Participants have the option to complete the assignment and receive feedback from NHLRC instructors, depending on which pricing scheme is selected.
  • The modules can be used in conjunction with a teacher training course or by individual teachers wanting to improve their teaching skills and better serve their HL students.

For each module, the following choices are available:

$75 per module gives you access to:

  • Lessons
  • Videos
  • Thought Exercises
  • Module Assignment without feedback

$150 per module gives you access to:

  • Lessons
  • Videos
  • Thought Exercises
  • Module Assignment with feedback from NHLRC instructors
  • *If all five modules are completed, the NHLRC will issue a certificate. (This is not a UCLA-issued certificate.)

Module I: Key Concepts and Pedagogical Approaches in Heritage Language Teaching

The first module focuses on foundational concepts of the field, including characteristics associated with heritage speakers, definitions of key concepts, and pedagogical strategies that meet the needs of heritage language learners.

Lesson Topics:

  • Lesson 1 What is a heritage language?
  • Lesson 2 What are the characteristics of heritage language speakers?
  • Lesson 3 Who are our heritage language learners?
  • Lesson 4 Macro-based Approaches to Language Teaching
  • Lesson 5 The Five From-To Principles
  • Lesson 6 Heritage Language Learners and Affect

Module II: Understanding and Meeting the Language Needs of Heritage Language Learners

The second module aims to develop a detailed understanding of what HL learners with no prior HL instruction can and cannot do with their HL in terms of phonology, vocabulary, morphology, syntax, register, and dialect. Strategies for addressing language needs in these areas are also included.

Lesson Topics:

  • Lesson 1 Introduction
  • Lesson 2 Phonology
  • Lesson 3 Vocabulary
  • Lesson 4 Morphology
  • Lesson 5 Syntax
  • Lesson 6 Register
  • Lesson 7 Dialectal Variation
  • Lesson 8 Regional Languages

Module III: Differentiated Instruction - Responding to the Needs of Individual Learners

The third module introduces the principles and practices of differentiated instruction and discusses their application to heritage language learners.

Lesson Topics:

  • Lesson 1 What is differentiated teaching?
  • Lesson 2 Theory and principles of differentiated teaching
  • Lesson 3 Differentiated teaching: Classroom tools and activities
  • Lesson 4 Formative Assessment
  • Lesson 5 Problem-based learning in a differentiated framework
  • Lesson 6 Grading in a differentiated framework

Module IV: Strategies for Teaching Mixed Classes 

The fourth module explores strategies and approaches that are useful for teachers of mixed heritage language/second language learner classes.

Lesson Topics:

  • Lesson 1 What are mixed classes?
  • Lesson 2 Framework for teaching mixed classes
  • Lesson 3 Maximizing learning for HL and L2 learners
  • Lesson 4 Group membership and classroom practices
  • Lesson 5 Agendas, anchoring activities, and centers
  • Lesson 6 Overview of differentiation and mixed classes

Module V: Tying it all together - Principles of Project-Based Learning (PBL)

The fifth module describes the principles and practices of PBL as they pertain to heritage language students, including the challenges involved in implementing a PBL curriculum and presentations of successfully implemented projects.

Lesson Topics:

  • Lesson 1 What are the characteristics of PBL?
  • Lesson 2 Authenticity: Four strategies that apply to PBL
  • Lesson 3 Maria Carreira's (California State University, Long Beach) sample project
  • Lesson 4 Challenges in implementing PBL
  • Lesson 5 Irina Dubinina's (Brandeis University) successfully implemented project
  • Lesson 6 Alegria Ribadeneira's (Colorado State University, Pueblo) successfully implemented projects
  1. Register online through the following link. Click here to register.
  2. Create a UCLA Logon ID at Select Create a UCLA Logon ID, agree to the terms, and then click I do not have a 9 digit UCLA ID number (UID).
  3. Once you create your logon ID, log into the Bruin Learn platform at using the credentials you created in order to activate your account.
  4. Email the following information to
    1. UCLA Logon ID
    2. Email address associated with your UCLA Logon ID.

If you have any questions, please contact us