Title

Ethnicity, Level of Spanish and Identity of Heritage Speakers in the Classroom: A Study in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Document Type

Article

Journal Title

Tonos Digital: Revista Electrónica de Estudios Filológicos

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Research on language and ethnic identity has been a popular field of study over the years, with a significant number of studies explaining the language / ethnicity relationship (e.g. Giles and Johnson 1981: Gumperz 1982: Eastman 1985: Rampton 1995: Walton 2004, among others). There are also numerous studies addressing issues of ethnic identity within the Hispanic population in the United States in general and in the Southwest in particular (González 1973, 1975: Floyd 1978, Merino 1983, Rivera Mills 2001, Martínez Mira 2006). Studies on the relationship between the heritage language and linguistic proficiency (for example, Kim and Chao 2009) seem to indicate a link between the (linguistic) command of that language and ethnic identity (e.g. Kim and Chao 2009, but only with participants of Mexican origin). This study investigates whether there is a relationship between the linguistic proficiency in the heritage language and ethnic identity within a specific group of Spanish speakers: US-born, Hispanic college students enrolled in Spanish as a Heritage Language classes in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The analysis of their opinions on statements relating identity and linguistic proficiency in Spanish (by means of a Likert scale) show how differences in linguistic proficiency can be related to a greater/lesser sense of ethnic identity; at the same time, for younger generations of US Hispanics, Spanish does not seem to be the only "core value" (Smolicz 1991) that defines their ethnic identity.

Comments

Note: This article was written in Spanish, but it provides an English translation.

Full text access: Scroll to the bottom of the webpage to find the PDF link.

This definitive article is available on the website of Todos Digital: http://www.tonosdigital.es/ojs/index.php/tonos.

Publisher Statement

This journal provides free access to all articles, so that they are available for research purposes, training, and in general for any non-commercial use. The articles published in it are also indexed through the Open Archives Initiative, with the aim of making the works more accessible to other researchers and, in general, providing facilities for a fluid global exchange of knowledge.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International license.

Share

COinS