A trend is spreading across the U.S. with second language acquisition. Most are learning the language of their immigrant grandparents, a language their parents might have ceased to speak. But these students say they do it for 'heritage' reasons:
'Students Search for the Words to Go With Their Cultural Pride'
"But during her sophomore year at Drew University, a small liberal arts college not far from here, Ms. Harfouche signed up for a class in classic Arabic in a quest to become fully literate in her mother tongue. It’s a move that many immigrants who came to the United States as children and those who were born here to immigrant parents have been making, said language experts, who refer to such students as “heritage speakers.”
“As more and larger immigration groups are represented in the United States, what we’re seeing is sort of a renewed sense of ethnic pride taking hold among the younger generations,” said Kathleen E. Dillon, associate director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
"The U.C.L.A. center, with financing from the United States Education Department, is conducting the first national count of college programs geared toward heritage students, most of whom grew up speaking a language other than English at home."
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