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					Heritage Language
Across the Life Span

Third Summer Heritage Language Research Institute
   The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
                June 22-26, 2009

                   Agnes He
               SUNY-Stony Brook
          Email: Agnes.He@sunysb.edu
Outline
   Heart, heritage, HL
   Chinese language characteristics
   CHL: a synchronic perspective
   CHL: a diachronic perspective
   CHL acquisitional characteristics
   Pedagogical implications: pre-college and
    college levels
 Everyone needs a heart
“The poor Tin Man
just stood there
mindlessly doing his
work... He had no
heart nor soul. He's
the heartless and
emotionless creature
robotically carrying
out his daily task as
though he were
already dead.”
 Language of the heart

“My home language is Chinese. My parents are
from China. They praised me, scolded me, all in
Chinese… My Chinese is really bad. I can’t read and
I can only write my name. But when I think of
Chinese, I think of my mom, dad, and home. It is the
language of my home, and my heart... Then later I
learned English from school, and so I think of
English as the language of my head.”

--Jason, a CHL learner
 HL: the Heart of heritage
Some assumptions (from a language socialization
  and conversation analytic perspective):
 The symbiosis of language and identity
 language as a resource for shaping, maintaining,
  transforming identity
 HL acquisition and HL literacy acquisition
  processes as identity processes
 Ordinary, everyday interaction as the primary
  locus for language and cultural development
Learning CHL: dialects
 Learning CHL: scripts
Christian Dior Christian Dior
 选用高雅的颜          選用高雅的顏
 色,华丽的式          色,華麗的式
 样,看上去光          樣,看上去光
 彩夺目,是众          彩奪目,是眾
 多女士非常喜          多女士非常喜
 爱的时装。           愛的時裝。
 Scripts and dialects
classroom script        Mandarin is the
same as home script     learner’s home
                        dialect or is
                        comprehensible to
classroom script        home dialect
different from
home script
                        Mandarin is
no home literacy        unintelligible to
in Chinese              home dialect
s
Homonyms and homophones:
h
ǐ
Yuen Ren Chao: lion-eating poet
 s
h
ì          《施氏食獅史》
       石室詩士施氏,嗜獅,誓食十獅。
s
h
           氏時時適市視獅。
í         十時,適十獅適市。
          是時,適施氏適市。
s
h      氏視是十獅,恃矢勢,使是十獅逝
ī             世。
         氏拾是十獅屍,適石室。
s
h
         石室濕,氏使侍拭石室。
ì        石室拭,氏始試食是十獅。
s      食時,始識是十獅,實十石獅屍。
h
ì
            試釋是事。
.
Yuen Ren Chao:
lion-eating poet: English translation
  « Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den »
  In a stone den was a poet Shi, who was a lion addict, and had
   resolved to eat ten.
  He often went to the market to look for lions.
  At ten o'clock, ten lions had just arrived at the market.
  At that time, Shi had just arrived at the market.
  He saw those ten lions, and using his trusty arrows, caused
   the ten lions to die.
  He brought the corpses of the ten lions to the stone den.
  The stone den was damp. He asked his servants to wipe it.
  After the stone den was wiped, he tried to eat those ten lions.
  When he ate, he realized that those ten lions were in fact ten
   stone lion corpses.
  Try to explain this matter.
 Writing system: reading and decoding
 FEAR LESS LY OUT SPOKE N BUT SOME
  WHAT HUMOR LESS NEW ENG LAND
  BORN LEAD ACT OR GEORGE MICHAEL
  SON EX PRESS ED OUT RAGE TO DAY
  AT THE STALE MATE BE TWEEN MAN
  AGE MENT AND THE ACT OR 'S UNION
  BE CAUSE THE STAND OFF HAD SET
  BACK THE TIME TABLE FOR PRO DUC
  TION OF HIS PLAY
  What Do CHL Learners Already Know?
 Phonology: do CHL learners have Mandarin pronunciation, or
  other dialectal variation and accommodation?
 Morphology: do they already understand character
  formations, the notion of Chinese words, phrases (字,词,短
  语)?
 Syntax: is grammar conscious to CHL learners or does it need
  to be made conscious to CHL learners?
 Pragmatics: to what extent are CHL learners aware of
  different speech styles, genres, speech acts, speech events, etc.
  and their social distributions and functions?
 In CFL or CSL, we could safely assume that everything needs
  to be taught; CHL learner proficiency levels are much harder
  to define.
CHL learners: a synchronic perspective:
Variability in proficiency (Hendryx 2008)
                     Listening/Speaking




  Reading                            Writing
 The CHL Learner:
 a diachronic view
toward a quasi-ergodic model (He, 2008, in
press)


Jason‟s journey

Snapshots of all CHL learners at different
stages at one given time = “Jason” over 14
years
    “Jason”: a CHL Learner
 Born in Guangdong, China
 At 3, immigrated with his family to Queens, New York
 At 6, started Kindergarten
 Dropped out of weekend Chinese language school
 4th to 12th Grade, one of the highest achieving students
 In high school, took Spanish
 Currently an Economics major, taking beginning level CHL
  class in a university
 Best friends are Brad and Jim
 Dating a girl from a Mandarin-speaking family background
 Hopes to do business in China some day
Data

                 University: recorded data

              high school: reported data

           6th Grade: published data

 Chinese Language School: recorded data

       Kindergarten: field notes
  Spatial: K-3
Kindergarten at home [field notes]

Mother: Jason, kuai kuai, hurry le! Nainai   zai      wait you!
            Fast fast        PRT grandma ASP-DUR
        Jason, fast fast, hurry! Grandma is waiting for you!
Spatial: K-3
 Kindergarten classroom [field notes]

 Mrs. B: My friends, let‟s get ready. It‟s center time.
    ((Jason doesn’t move.))
 Mrs. B: Jason, which center do you wanna go?
    ((Jason doesn’t respond. Mrs. B takes his hand and brings
    him to the art center next to an easel.))
 Mrs. B: You like to paint? I know you are a good artist.
    ((Jason looks at the easel and then at other kids who are at
    the number center working with numbers 0 through 9.
    Jason joins the number center. Mrs. B leaves.))
  Spatial: K-3
At the parent-teacher conference [field notes]

Mrs. B:        Jason is a very bright kid. But he needs to learn
               English.
Father:        Yes yes.
Mrs. B:        Do you speak English to him at home?
Father:        Uh yes.
Mrs. B:        You know, it‟s very hard for kids if they don‟t get
               much support from home.
Father:        Uh yes.
   Spatial: K-3
CHL school [recorded data]

001Teacher: “孔融     让 梨” 是- 说 的               是
               “kongrong yield pear” be- say NOM be
          The story of “Kong Rong Yields Pears” tells us that
002       <<小朋友 应该 互 (.) 相 (.) 谦 (.) 让。>>
               little friend should mutual yield
               little friends should yield (.) to (.) each (.) other.
003      要是要是你们在 家(.) 跟 弟弟                                妹妹       玩,
         if if you LOC home with younger brother younger sister play
         If you are playing with your younger brothers and sisters at home,
004      你们 (.) 抢 玩具 (.) 这 样 对                  不 对        啊?
         you     grab toy     this way correct NEG correct Q
         You (.) fight for toys (.) Is that right or not?
005      不 好 啊 ((waving hands))
       NEG good PRT
         Not good ok
006      (.2)
      Spatial: K-3
007 Teacher:要把- 应该 把 玩具让:: 给 弟弟                          妹妹
            should ought BA toy yield DIR younger brother younger sister
            Should- Ought to yie::ld the toys to younger brothers and sisters
008         (.2)
009 Teacher:谦::让:(.) 懂        吗? 谦让 就 是 这 个 意思
               Yield understand Q yield just be this CL meaning
               Yield (.) Understand? This is what yield means.
010 Jason:    让 给 他? 我们share就 可以了。
               yield DIR he we share just ok CRS
             Y ield to him? We can share.
011 Teacher: Share (.) 嗷:: share 是 不 错
             Share PRT share be NEG wrong
             Share (.) uh:: share is not wrong
012          (.4)
013 Teacher: 可是能 让 更好=
               But able yield even better
             But being able to Y IELD will be EVEN better.
014 Jason: =Oh:: no::: Do I really have to?
015 Teacher: 不是- 不是说 非-             不是 说 <必须得 让>
               NEG NEG say have to- NEG say must must yield
              I’m not saying you have to- not saying that you MUST yield
016           能 让(.) 最:好啊
              Able yield best PRT
              Being able to yield is THE BEST ok
A Spatial Composite: K-3
       School
        CHL
      School           Parents try to speak
     Grandma
      Cousins
      Parents
        Aunt
     Neighbors
      Friends
      Teacher          English to J and also
                      send him to CHL school


                        Aunt advocates for
                         English only but
    Jason                speaks both to J.


                      Teacher concerned with
                     J’s English but celebrates
                       his cultural background
  Spatial: 4-6
School report card:
“Jason is a superior student who excels across all subject areas…”

At dinner table:
Grandma:         Oy- m- oy faan a?
                 want NEG want rice PRT
                 Want rice or not?
                 (2.0)
Grandma:         Chaaufaan a. Oy- m- oy?
                 fried rice PRT want-NEG-want
                 Fried rice. Want or not?
                 (2.0)
Jason:           I‟ll have some shrimps.
   Spatial: 4-6
At home:
Aunt: qu na ge biezhen lai.
            go get CL pin     CP
            Go get a pin.
Jason:      Where‟s it?
Aunt: Ask mom.
Jason:      Ma.
Mom: mm
Jason:      na       you biezhen a?
            Q:where exist pin         Q
            where can I find a pin?
Mom: sh‟ma?
            Q: what
            what?
Jason:      biezhen zai nar?
            pin      LOC Q:where
            where is the pin?
Mom: kankan zuobian chouti you mei you
            look left        drawer have NEG have
            see if you can find it in the drawer on the left
Jason:      Yes. (To Aunt) How big?
Aunt: Anything.
   Spatial: 4-6
Language choice, sequential organization, multi-party interaction

English / Chinese

Aunt:     request
Jason:              question
Aunt:               answer: command
Jason:                       compliance:       address
Mom:                                  response
Jason:                                question
Mom:                                           initiation
Jason:                                         repair
Mom:                                  answer: question
Jason:                                                      answer
                    question
Aunt:               answer
    Spatial: 7-12
   Guidance Counselor: “He is the kind of student we all dream to have.”
   Schoolmate: “Oh that Chinese guy? Or is he Vietnamese or some other kind
    of Asian? He is okay. Never bothers me. But what is he doing here? I think
    people like him should go back to China or wherever they came from.”
   Neighbor: “Nice young man! He will have a great future. I wish my son
    more like him. You know, my son only play with people like him, you know,
    only Chinese. Too narrow, you know. You live in America, you want to be
    American, you know.”
   An elderly at temple: “这孩子不错。他父母人很好,可他从来也不叫我奶奶。
    都美国化了。(He is a good kid. His parents are very nice people, but he
    never calls me „Grandma‟. He is Americanized.)”
   Mother: “He study not bad. Has good grades. He like computer. Play
    computer game all the time. Never stop. Spend a lot money too. He like
    brand. Waste money!”
   Sister: “He talks to me but he really doesn‟t talk to anyone else [in the
    family] that much. He‟s really busy‟n stuff.”
A Spatial Composite: 4-12
        multi-
      Grandma
      Teachers
       Parents
        Sister
      counselor
       ethnic
        peers




                        Parents speak Chinese to
      Jason           Jason but don’t expect Jason
                        to speak or learn Chinese
  Spatial: University
CHL instructor [recorded data]

Professor: Ok if I- I speak Mandarin, do you follow me well?
Jason:     I mean (.) >I underSTAND Mandarin.< At home my mom‟n my aunt
           the- they sometimes speak Mandarin b‟t (.) not all that well. .hhh Most
           of the time everybody (.) jus speak Canto[nese.
Professor:                                                 [Ok,=
Jason:     =I like Mandarin. Sounds better than other dialects. >Don‟t know
           why jus feels that way.< I mean if I want to find a jo:b like (.) in China
           I wanna be in big (cities/places) like <Beijing> or something=
Professor: =Uhuh,
           (.2)
Jason:     I don‟t wanna be (.) like (.) y‟ know (.) where THEY came from.

[XL, Spring 2005]
  Spatial: University
Best friend: Brad (who is taking CFL) [recorded data]

Jason:   When‟s your oral?
Brad:    Friday, (.) I think, (.) .hhh oh no actually I don‟t think she‟s told us yet.
         I‟m gonna fail hhahaha=
Jason:   =no you won‟t,
Brad:    C‟mon ((hhh I‟m gonna)) say “wo: (.) jue::de (.2) fa:yin (.) he::n
         nan”((I think pronunciation is hard)) hhahhhaha
Jason:   Oh yea you can do it, you just did it hhuhuhuh
Brad:    Easy for YOU ((it‟s)) your (.) lan[guage
Jason:                               [ne::: my mom- I don=
Brad:    =but s[till
Jason:        [I guess.

[BR, Spring 2005]
  Spatial: University
Math TA [recorded data]

((Jason is seeking help in TA’s office))
TA:     This- this is the rule, the equation. What I tell you (.2) you mus
        must follow. The right way.
        ((Jason is still confused))
TA:     Are you Chinese?
        ((Jason stares at TA))
TA:     I tell you in Chinese.
        (.2)
Jason: uh:: my Chinese isn‟t that good=
TA:     =So you are ABC. No problem. I tell you again…

[JL, Spring 2005]
  Spatial: University
CHL TA [recorded data]

TA:    This- this is jus- you put in end- before “le” you you you you
       know this you:: speak Chinese=
Jason: =I‟ve never seen this [one
TA:                       [This- this is Chinese it‟s natural we always say
       that.
       (.2)
TA:    You put them together you know these things right? You‟re
       [Chinese right?
Jason: [Not a whole lot.

[JL, Spring 2005]
     Spatial: University
Mother [recorded data]

Jason: I‟m also (.2) taking uh Chinese history.
        (.4)
Jason: It‟s hard.
Mother: Hard? You study hard (.) it‟s easy.
Jason: Ma you don‟t get it.
        ((pause))
Mother: Why- why Chinese history? Economy major need Chinese history? I
        study my major I never study history=
Jason: =Ma you never get it. ni bu dong la:: ((You don’t understand this)) I‟m
        taking it cus I want to. Nobody asks me to.

[XL, Spring 2005]
  Spatial: University
Supervisor at work place [recorded data]

((Jason is studying for a CHL quiz in between work))

Supervisor:      That‟s Chinese?
Jason:           Yeah (.) the professor sh- she said we have to (.)
                 memorize all this stuff it‟s killing me=
Supervisor:      =it sure looks pretty har::d (.2) but it‟s cool I wish (.) I
                 could read something like that. You must be smart.

[JL, Spring 2005]
A Spatial Composite: University
          Club
       Professors
        Grandma
        girlfriend
         Parents
         Friends
           TAs
       Supervisor
        Members




                           Parents use English to

      Jason              communicate with Jason;
                            Jason begins to learn
                        Chinese language and history
 Temporal: Jason

   Silence



Cantonese
             Jason

 Mandarin




   English


                     Time
  Temporal: Mother


Cantonese/
 Mandarin    Mother




   English



                      Time
  Temporal: School


HL learning




     None     School


                       Time
Rethinking HL: Spatially
Agency and Directionality
    Multi-agency

    Multi-directionality

    Same agency different directions

    Different agency same directions

    Different agency different directions
Rethinking HL: Temporally
 Non-linear, iterative, dynamic
 sometimes plateau, sometimes exponential
 cumulative
 changing motivations, changing social networks,
  changing opportunities
 changing competencies, changing choices, and
  changing ideologies
 Changing agency, concurrently and consequently
  Multiple worlds of the CHL learner
                      中国文明




    sin 
y        d
    1  2
Visualizing HL Learner Identity
                               space

                              community



                              school
                                                time
                   past   present      future

coherence and
continuity in                 home
learner identity
CHL developmental path
    Domain-
     Age of
      Birth
    Parental
      SES
    specific      • Sustained exposure/use
     order
     place
       L1
     arrival
     input        • Explicit (partial) learning

                              CHL learning


      Early
    exposure
     To CHL
                              CFL learning

                  • Attrition / decline
                  • Discontinued / incomplete
                    native linguistic system
  CHL Acquisitional Characteristics
 Partial, discontinuous exposure (Xiao 2006, 2008))
 Cultural familiarity; phonological, grammatical and
  orthographic intuition (cf. L2) (Koda et al. 2008)
 High variability (Hendryx 2008; Dai & Zhang 2008)
 a tendency of attrition or decline in language skills and
  morpho-syntactic knowledge (Jia & Bayley 2008)
 sometimes plateau, sometimes exponential
 changing motivations, changing social networks, changing
  opportunities (Li 1994, Tse)
 changing competencies, changing choices, and changing
  ideologies (He, 2006, 2008)
 a socialization process with multiple agencies, multiple
  directions, and multiple goals
 Nurturing Young CHL Learners
 CHL as integral part of life and learning
 Building bridges and continuity
 Character before pinyin 先认字后学拼音
 Recognition of characters before production of
  characters 先认后写,多认少写
 Reading before writing 先读后写,多读少写

马立平,斯坦福中文学校
 A Letter to Grandparents (LJH: excerpt)
爷爷奶奶节日好!
   今天是2008年最后一天。今年发生了很多事情。我学到
了很多东西,我还见到了很多的新的想法。今天一定是一个很
重要的一天。今天不之是新年前夜,但我们这里几分钟前,刚
刚一边下雪一边打雷。爷爷奶奶在中国听说过有这种事吗?

   今年,我赢了一个数学比赛;我写了个纪念六年级的诗
;我从小学毕业了;我开始上初中了;我过了我的12岁生日;
我还做了一个机器人。每一次,你们都给我发短行,你们都夸
我,说我好。我每次受到你们的短行,都会想起你们宽大的心
和暖和的爱。可惜,我的中文还不够好,写的不够快,平常没
有时间跟你们谈话。这几天是节日,我们放一个多星期假,终
于可以跟你们写信了。
    ………………………….
 A Letter to Grandparents (cont’d)
  数学课教的知识比以前难,可是老师教的很好。大多数的
时候,我还是没有事情可做了,因为我有几个同学常常一开始
搞不懂,要闻很多问题才搞懂。我常常看懂了,就没事儿干了
。知识还挺难的,但是我那几个同学很多时候会过好长时间才
会搞懂。在学校外我参加了一个Mandelbrot的比赛。这个比赛
是给高中生的,但是有一个人突然走了。我们的队最好有八个
人才行。这个比赛很难,我是队上最查的。我还要记叙努力,
比赛还没有完呢,以后还会有。
   我已经又给机器人加了改进了。到了二月份,我要带着
它跟别人比赛。在三分钟以内,我要把好多电池,高尔夫球,
硬币,和Lego都装进两个合资里。我是跟我的朋友一起要做的
。但是,我们那一天还要参加另一个比赛。我们要用一个机器
把四网球扔到两个地方去。两个球要扔到一个又离我们很近的
地方,但是又很高。两个球要扔到一个离我们很远的地方,但
是不能打倒更近的地方。
   祝爷爷奶奶2009年健康快乐!
    College CHL Learner Errors
    Script (character) errors (SPE)
    Errors on verbs or verb phrases (VBE)
    Nominal errors (NNE)
    Classifier errors (CLE)
    Errors related to preposition phrases (PPE)
    Errors on word order (WOE)
    Adjective errors (AJE)
    Adverb errors (ADE)
    Errors on pronouns (PRE)
    Sentential errors (SCE)

(Ming & Tao, 2008)
 Engaging Adolescent and College
 CHL Learners
第一课 你好!                       第一课 百家姓
  Hello!                       The Hundred Surnames
第二课 今天几号?                     第二课 什么是农历?
  What date is today?         What is lunar calendar?
第三课 图书馆在哪里?                   第三课 谁是东方人?
  Where is the library?       Who is an oriental?
第四课 你去过北京吗?                   第四课 你以前学过中文吗?
  Have you been to Beijing?   Have you learned Chinese
                                        before?
 Pedagogical Approaches to CHL:
 Materials
 Chinese language materials (e.g., newspapers,
  television programs, Internet pages as well as
  textbooks) that address the linguistic needs, socio-
  cultural identities, environment and life styles of
  CHL learners
 Materials that are sensitive to CHL students‟
  learning styles and habits
 Materials that are rich in Chinese culture
  (traditional and contemporary) and global in
  orientation
 Some examples: 大学语文; 收获;马立平教材系
   列
 Pedagogical Approaches to CHL:
 Methods
 Inquiry-based learning: begin with CHL
  student‟s needs and questions (rather than a full
  four skill area 听说读写 approach)
 A problem-posing and problem-solving
  pedagogy: focus on the identification, analysis
  and resolution of problems in learners‟ worlds
 Reactivating latent/tacit knowledge in
  character/orthography
 Building vocabulary in extended contexts
 Raising consciousness in grammar
 Rethinking “communicative approaches”
 Some examples
 “Oh yeah I’ve seen that character before, but I
  forgot…”
   病:radical, phonetic-semantic principle, related
  characters, collocations
 “What does it mean here?”
  假in狐假虎威: polysemy, new contexts
 “No, that doesn’t sound right, but I’m not sure
  why.”
  他没来过了:tense-aspect marker, current state
  relevance token
 Pedagogical Approaches to CHL:
 Working with diversity
Objective: maximally tap into different strengths of
different learners in the same classroom

Task based learning:
       (a) assign a team-task which requires different
skills to mixed groups of students of different
profiles [ex. Conducting an interview]
       (b) assign different tasks to students of
different profiles
 Pedagogical Approaches to CHL:
 Working with diversity
 Content based learning:
  (a) select themes building upon what
  learners already know [ex. Chinese naming
  practices]

   (b) make connection between Chinese
   language and some content area learning
   [ex. History, business, economics, Asian
   philosophy]
 Pedagogical Approaches to CHL:
 cultural immersion
 Study Abroad:
1.  Life changing experience for all
2.  HL learners: re-positioning their identities
3.  Reinforced commitment to CHL

 Home/community:
1.  Ask for parental cooperation (pre-college)
2.  CHL as tool to strengthen family ties
3. CHL as resource for creating new opportunities
 Further and Urgent Questions
 Different trajectories for CHL learners of
  different dialect backgrounds?
 Different trajectories for CHL learners at
  different ages / phases of life?
 Different trajectories for continuous CHL
  learning vs. intermittent CHL learning?
 Different trajectories for CHL learners vs.
  CFL learners?
Most recent on CHL
 He, Agnes Weiyun & Xiao, Yun. (Eds.) (2008).
  Chinese as a Heritage Language: Fostering Rooted
  World Citizenry. Honolulu: National Foreign
  Language Resource Center/ University of Hawaii
  Press.


 312 pp. April 2008
 ISBN 978-0-8248-3286-5
Thank You 谢谢

				
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