2022 Heritage Language Learning Symposium (Feb 23-24)

The Second Heritage Language Learning Symposium is a virtual event sponsored by UNC Charlotte and the CLAS Alumni Council Fall Faculty Grant. It is also supported by the Department of Languages and Culture Studies and the Spanish program.
The entire event will be held virtually on February 23-24, 2022 from 10:00am – 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.


The symposium offers the possibility to learn about current research on heritage language learning as well as to get practical tools to teach Spanish to U.S. Spanish Heritage Speakers. We have invited four prominent scholars who have been engaged in the field of Heritage Language Education. The Presenters will share their research and knowledge with UNC Charlotte faculty, graduate and undergraduate students as well as with attendees from other institutions.For 2022, the Heritage Language Learning Symposium will focus on heritage language education by bringing together experts in the field of bilingual education.

This event will hold research presentations in the morning and workshops in the afternoon where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from the invited experts.


Dr. Javier García León (javier.garcialeon@charlotte.edu)
Dr. Paloma Fernández Sánchez (palomafernandezsanchez@charlotte.edu)

Symposium Goals

This symposium has five primary goals:

  1. to increase understanding of and knowledge about (Spanish) heritage speakers on the American context,
  2. to reflect on how heritage students’ pedagogical needs are different from those of second-language learners,
  3. to provide Spanish language instructors with pedagogical tools to better teach Spanish to U.S. Spanish Heritage Speakers, and
  4. to strengthen bilingual/heritage language education practices by connecting scholars, language instructors, and students at UNC Charlotte.

Featured Speakers

Dr. Nelson Flores – University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Claudia Holguín Mendoza – University of California at Riverside

Dr. Sergio Loza – University of Oregon

Dr. Sibela Pinochet – West Forsyth High School


Note: All times are Eastern Standard Time
Click the following link to download a provisional copy of this schedule with session abstracts.

Wednesday February 23, 2022

10:00am – 10:10 am Opening Remarks – Dr. Michèle Bissière, Chair, Department of Languages and Culture StudiesZoom link:
10:10am – 12:00pm Research Presentation: From Academic Language to Language ArchitectureDr. Nelson Flores, U of Pennsylvania. Zoom link:
1:00pm – 3:00pm Workshop: Critical Sociocultural Linguistic LiteracyFacilitator:Dr. Claudia Holguín Mendoza, U of California at Riverside.Zoom link:

Thursday February 24, 2022

10:00am – 10:10 am Opening Remarks – Dr. Kendra Jason UNC Charlotte´s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
10:10am – 12:00pm Research Presentation: Creating new educational opportunities for Latinx students and language departmentsDr. Sergio Loza, University of OregonZoom link:
1:00pm – 3:00pm Workshop: Incorporating students´ Funds of Knowledge “Hidden Treasure”Facilitator:Dr. Sibela Pinochet, West Forsyth High SchoolZoom link:

This workshop will address how K-12 teachers use heritage students’ skills and knowledge that they bring to the classroom


There is no cost to attend this Symposium, but you must be registered in advance. The deadline for registration is February 22, 2022. Click the following link to register:

Symposium Registration


Please contact the Symposium organizers if you have any questions or comments:

Dr. Javier García León (javier.garcialeon@charlotte.edu)
Dr. Paloma Fernández Sánchez (palomafernandezsanchez@charlotte.edu)