Heritage Language Instruction and Giftedness in Language Minority Students: Pathways Toward Success

Matthews, Paul H.; Matthews, Michael S.
December 2003
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education;Winter2004, Vol. 15 Issue 2, p50
Academic Journal
Students whose first, home, or dominant language is other than English are a rapidly growing segment of the school-aged population in many parts of the United States. Language minority students, while often underrepresented in traditional gifted programs, can benefit from "heritage language" courses focused on developing academic proficiency and exploring challenging content in their home language. The article describes how heritage language courses can provide an appropriate venue for the identification of gifted potential among language minority students, how such courses can enhance student motivation for learning, and what cognitive benefits may be associated with additive bilingualism developed through such courses.


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