Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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Heritage language learners of Spanish are studying abroad in Spanish-speaking countries yet their linguistic evolution in Spanish is not addressed sufficiently in existing published scholarship. The current study consists of four case studies of US heritage speakers of Spanish studying abroad in Spanish-speaking countries different from their ancestors. Previous research on heritage speakers abroad has not addressed linguistic development. The current study attempts to fill this gap by using a variety of tasks to elicit the use of regional features to compare these heritage learners to second language learners and also first language learners who develop second dialects as a result of living abroad. The findings reveal changes in the production of regional features throughout the semester by three of the four learners of Spanish. These changes are attributed to shifts in identity coupled with proficiency level and contact with locals.


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