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This article explores the relationship between the writing proficiency of heritage speakers of Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Spanish and their context of acquisition, educational experiences, and language practices. Biographical data and proficiency ratings obtained with the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test were collected for 187 adult heritage speakers. These data are analyzed in order to shed light on connections between the writing proficiency of heritage speakers of these three languages and their language experiences, which have implications for placement and pedagogy in the postsecondary setting. The results of the analysis are then deployed in a series of recommendations to support the development of writing proficiency in the classroom. The authors advocate a proficiency-oriented approach to the teaching of heritage language that leverages the learners’ linguistic resources.

Citation: Gatti, A., & O’Neill, T. (2017). Who Are Heritage Writers? Language Experiences and Writing. Proficiency. Foreign Language Annals, 50, 734-753.

This article describes what Intermediate and Advanced heritage language learners of Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Spanish can do when writing in their heritage language, and what prevents these writers from performing at the next proficiency level. One hundred eighty-seven samples were collected using the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test. Each sample is analyzed employing a review form through which floor and ceiling criteria are identified, and the strengths and weaknesses of writing while attempting next-level functions are made evident. The proficiency profiles resulting from this analysis are used to propose pedagogical practices in support of literacy development.

Foreign language annals cover.

Citation: Gatti, A., & O’Neill, T. (2018). Writing proficiency profiles of heritage learners of Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. Foreign Language Annals, 51, 719–737. 


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