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In many schools across the United States native Spanish-speakers are enrolled in Spanish foreign language classes in order to fulfill a foreign language requirement. The Spanish foreign language class is inappropriate for the native Spanish-speaker’s needs. It is essential that these students be given opportunities to expand their linguistic skills to become fully bilingual and biliterate. Spanish classes for native Spanish-speakers exist at the high school level in many parts of the country, but elementary students are rarely given such opportunities.

The author of this professional paper and report on the creation of an after school Spanish Club discusses the rationale behind the need to give linguistic and cultural support to elementary aged heritage Spanish speakers in her school community. She describes the club she and a group of mothers created and implemented together. Included are materials developed by the group, feedback from participating families and reflection on how to further develop a model that can be reproduced in Spanish and other heritage language communities.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | First and Second Language Acquisition