Telecollaboration as a Tool to Enhance Critical Pedagogy in Spanish Heritage Language Instruction

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Laura Villa
María Jesús Barros García


Abstract: This paper describes and evaluates our experience implementing telecollaboration in Spanish Heritage Language instruction in order to develop students’ critical reflection on issues that affect Latinx communities in the United States. Data and students’ samples collected in four SHL courses taught at Queens College-CUNY, New York City and Saint Xavier University, Chicago are presented and analyzed. We begin by explaining the motivation for the use of telecollaboration, and then outline the three modules of this project in relation to our goals: (1) to develop students’ understanding of the discursive and sociopolitical nature of language and identity; (2) to engage students in a discussion of the historic presence of Latinxs in the country and the patterns of Latinx migration to the US in the 20th and 21st centuries; and (3) to promote a critical reflection on the current living and working conditions of Latinx communities in New York and Chicago. We conclude with a general assessment of the project based on students’ work and our own reflections.

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