Olga Kagan, UCLA, and Kathleen Dillon, UC Language Consortium
We are excited to publish this seventh volume of the Heritage Language Journal. This collection of articles reflects the broad spectrum of languages and language issues that characterize the heritage language field. Included are discussions of literacy, grammar, sociolinguistic patterns, code-switching, and demographics.
The issue begins with three articles focusing on heritage speakers of Spanish, by Laura Callahan (The City College of New York, Ariana Milulski (Arizona State University), and Silvina Montrul and Melissa Bowles (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Taken together, these papers offer us some research-based challenges to earlier viewpoints on assessment and approaches to heritage language development.
Michal Tannenbaum and Netta Abugov (Tel Aviv University) offer us a sociolinguistic perspective on a unique linguistic community of Yiddish and Hebrew speakers.
Code-switching is the focus of frequent analysis among linguists as well as classroom instructors, and the paper by Sun-Young Shin (Indiana University, Bloomington) links the phenomenon to ethnic identity.
The final paper casts a light on the significance of the history of a recent immigration to the U.S. The Khmer community struggles to preserve its language, and Wayne Wright (University of Texas, San Antonio) finds reason for optimism in his research, experiences, and observations.
Thanks to our distinguished Book Review Editor, Nelleke Van Deusen Scholl (Yale University), this issue finishes with a series of three book review essays that explore several central themes in the heritage field. We are grateful to Celeste Kinginger (Pennsylvania State University) for her incisive exposition of "the uniqueness of personal relationships to language" in The Genius of Language (Wendy Lesser, Ed.); to Wesley Leonard (San Diego State University) for his instructive commentary on language revitalization efforts and his thoughtful, critical guide to reading Teaching Oregon Native Languages (Joan Gross, Ed.); and to Yun Xiao (Bryant University) for a comprehensive exploration of how intergenerational transmission and educational institutions and policies impact heritage language preservation in Heritage Language Development: Focus on East Asian Immigrants (Kimi Kondo-Brown, Ed.).
As the editors, we hope that the topics presented in this collection will stimulate discussion and contribute to current and future research and practice in the heritage field. We extend our sincere thanks to all who contributed the products of their research to this issue. And, as always, we are grateful to our Managing Editor, Susan Bauckus, whose skills bring all their work to fruition.
Finally, we would like to draw your attention to a new online L2 Journal, published by the UC Language Consortium and the UC Berkeley Language Center. Professor Claire Kramsch (UC Berkeley) is the editor. The first issue appeared in fall 2009 and can be found at http://escholarship.org/uc/uccllt_l2. The journal promotes the research and the practice of language learning and teaching.
Published: Friday, February 05, 2010