College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

World Languages and Cultures

Language for Heritage Speakers

Since 2014, the Department of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) at CSUMB has offered a course designed for heritage language learners (students who grow up speaking and/or listening to another language at home or within another language speaking community but whose dominant language is English) other than Spanish*. WLC joins a growing number of departments across the country that recognize the distinct needs and abilities of this population as opposed to those of traditional second language learners who have not been in regular contact with their language while growing up. *For heritage speakers of Spanish, please enroll in SPAN212.

The goal of our program is to promote heritage language development and maintenance by providing a supportive learning environment that takes into consideration the rich multi-lingual and multi-cultural background of our diverse student body. We welcome and nourish our students' linguistic resources and cultural heritages while aiming to expand their oral, reading, and writing skills in their own heritage language. We seek to do this through exploring topics related to culture, linguistics, and interculturality. Moreover, we aim to build community among heritage language learners at CSUMB in addition to fostering learning opportunities in the classroom and beyond.

The course designed for heritage speakers is WLC 212: Language and Culture for Heritage Speakers and we are always ready to enroll speakers of Arabic, American Sign Language, Cantonese, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese. We can often find support for languages other than those listed, but please contact us before October to begin that search.


"Thank you for a very cool semester. Not only has your course inspired me to reconnect with my language and culture, but it has given me the opportunity to bond with my parents and family. It has created memories that I will never forget. So thank you!"

WLC212 Faculty

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