Why Heritage Language is Important for Immigrant Origin Children’s Development & Learning

Why Heritage Language is Important for Immigrant Origin Children’s Development & Learning

Why Heritage Language is Important for Immigrant Origin Children’s Development & Learning

By By Gladys María Aguilar, Michael Ángel Vázquez and Isabel Fitzpatrick
English PDF  

In this Immigration Initiative at Harvard Educator Brief, we outline what research suggests are the promotive and protective functions of preserving heritage languages for children’s academic outcomes, cognitive development, and social-emotional well-being. We also consider how children’s use of and skills in the heritage language are vulnerable to loss. Lastly, we provide guidelines for steps educators and schools can take to work with families and communities to nurture children’s heritage language skills.

For media outreach about the brief, please contact: immigrationinitiative@harvard.edu