Maria Carreira is professor of Spanish at California State University, Long Beach and co-director of the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA.
Roughly one out of every five children (22%) in American schools speaks a language other than English at home. This number is significantly higher in some of this nation’s largest urban areas, including Chicago (41%), Los Angeles (65%), Houston (55%), and New York (49%). The future of America is inextricably bound to that of language minority children. To secure this future, America must come to know these children and harness their potential. In this presentation, Maria Carreira will summarize her research on the everyday experiences of Latino children. Drawing on their personal narratives, she will discuss the critical role that resilience - the capacity to tap into personal, cultural, and social resources - plays in the overall wellbeing and academic development of this population, as well on the maintenance and development of their home language. On the basis of this information, she will argue that heritage language education should prioritize the teaching of cultural and linguistic resilience.