Despite the frequent references to identity within the field of heritage language education, it is only in the past decade or so that scholars have begun to conduct empirical research on this topic. This article examines recent research on identity and heritage language education in the United States. The article begins with a discussion of the simultaneous development of heritage language education as a field and growth of interest in identity and language learning, followed by a critical examination of the terms "heritage language" and "heritage language education," as well as of "heritage language learner" as an identity category. Next is a review of empirical studies conducted within the past 5 years, including survey-based research that considered identity in the exploration of students' reasons for heritage language study, in addition to qualitative and ethnographic research that focused specifically on heritage language learners' sense of themselves and their relationship to the heritage language, as well as on the ways that heritage language learner identities are constructed, indexed, and negotiated in classroom settings. The next section looks at recent research on pedagogical approaches designed to engage heritage language learners in critical considerations of language and identity. The article concludes with suggestions for future research.
Teaching Methods and Strategies
Heritage and Indigenous Language Programs