Heritage Spanish Speakers (Back) in Mexico Educating U.S.-Raised Children in Mexican Schools

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Kathleen Tacelosky


Children who have learned to speak Spanish at home, have had some or all of their schooling in English, and who go (back) to the homeland of their family—in this case, Mexico—are a type of heritage speaker. Informed by a decade-long, qualitative research study based in Mexico, I discuss the educational trajectories of such students in order to identify ways to support their transition to schooling in Spanish. Because the field of Spanish as a Heritage Language has been supporting student achievement in reading and
writing for decades, its pedagogies and methods offer a ready source of applicability to the Mexican context. However, I conclude that Mexican educators and decision-makers must also consider locally appropriate applications and broader curricular changes.

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