Telecollaboration: from linguistic insecurity to linguistic confidence in Spanish as a heritage language

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Abstract

For heritage speakers (HSs), speaking their heritage language (HL) sometimes comes accompanied by HL anxiety and/or lack of confidence in their HL skills Although, HL anxiety and lack of confidence in the HL usually intertwine with few opportunities to use the language and/or being perceived as speakers of a stigmatized variety of the HL, the present study focuses on telecollaboration as a catalyst for linguistic confidence in the HL. For six weeks, 13 dyads of HSs and Mexican Spanish speakers synchronously interacted via Zoom and Google Docs. To observe the effects of telecollaboration on HSs’ linguistic confidence, data were collected via weekly written reflections and the recordings of the Zoom meetings. Although all HSs participants were enrolled in third-year courses for Spanish HSs at a large public U.S. university in Texas, their proficiency levels varied from low self-perceived to high self-perceived proficiency. Results exhibited that these differences did not derive in distinct outcomes and all the participants could develop linguistic confidence when interacting in their HL. These results shed light into the importance of providing HSs with more resources to maintain their HL and encouraging them to use Spanish in different contexts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Spanish Heritage speakers
  • Telecollaboration
  • linguistic confidence
  • linguistic insecurity

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