Online courses for heritage learners

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Online and hybrid courses for second language (L2) learners have become increasingly popular among higher-education institutions. However, technology-enhanced heritage language (HL) courses remain the exception, likely due to the scarcity of computer-delivered materials that meet the needs of HL learners. This chapter describes a fully-online Spanish composition course for HL learners developed and implemented at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, during Spring Semester of 2014. In addition to describing the course components and student performance, the chapter also examines the advantages and challenges of online courses for HL learners in terms of meeting practical, pedagogical, and affective needs. Suggestions are made for curricular design of online courses or sections for HL learners, especially at institutions that do not have a large enough population of HL learners to offer separate L2/HL tracks.


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