This Guide can be used by students preparing for study abroad and administrators of study abroad programs. It has three parts.
Part 1: Understanding Heritage Speakers provides a general overview of Spanish Heritage Speakers (SHSs) in the U.S. context.; analyzes some statistical data on the Hispanic and Latino population; discusses some factors that influence the proficiency level of SHSs. It concludes with some of the obstacles that may cause heritage learners to opt out of study abroad programs.
Part 2: Fostering Language Development discusses some linguistic characteristics that are typically exhibited by SHSs; analyzes some barriers that SHSs often encounter in study abroad programs when trying to develop their language skills in Spanish; presents pedagogical considerations and strategies.
Part 3: Fostering Cultural Adjustment provides information and ideas on how to enrich the cultural experience of heritage speakers in study abroad programs. This includes managing perceptions and expectations from the point of view of both heritage speakers and the host community (including host families, instructors, staff, etc.). Three opportunities to enhance heritage speakers´ cultural experience while abroad are discussed: service learning, voluntary work, and internships.