Heritage Language Symposium

Multilingual Teaching, Research, and Learning:

In K-12, Higher Ed, and the Community


Saturday, February, 4th 2023
9:00 am - 12:30 pm (Pacific Time)




No cost to attend
+ 3 Free Clock Hours for WAFLT members

Language teaching colleagues from the University of Washington and around the state join together for our ninth symposium on working with heritage language learners.

Please notify startalk@uw.edu ASAP about any accommodation requests (e.g., related to a disability or language-related concern).

Symposium Agenda & Handouts / Slides

Q&A Document




Paul Aoki, PhD (he/him)
UW Language Learning Center

photo of Russell Hugo, PhD

Russell Hugo, PhD (he/they)
UW Language Learning Center

photo of Amy Pace, PhD

Amy Pace, PhD
UW Speech and Hearing Sciences

For the symposium this year we are focusing specifically on multilingual students who have as one of their languages a heritage language, that is, a language that is connected to their personal identity, family, or ancestors and is not the dominant language of the society where they live (such as the U.S.).

Presentation (Video)



Keynote and Q&A: How Public Schools Can Support Heritage Languages and Language Learners

photo of Ema Shirk

Ema Shirk
OSPI Heritage Languages

Heritage language programs can transform public schools into places where languages are strengthened, not silenced. By grounding our work as heritage language educators and multilingual education leaders in community and linguistic justice, we can make that dream a reality for every student. Join our conversation to learn about how public schools can support heritage languages and language learners and some of the emerging practices in Washington state that shine a light on a future where every language is valued in our schools.

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF)


Exploratory Conversation around the notion of “Heritage Language”

Ileana Marin, PhD
American Romanian Cultural Society

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF)



One America: Supporting HB HB 1228 - 2023-24: Building a multilingual, multiliterate Washington through dual and tribal language education.

Link to bill Video One Pager


Beyond formal learning, looking at acquisition


Present tense morphology in Spanish heritage and second language children

photo of Ana Fernández-Dobao, PhD

Ana Fernández-Dobao, PhD (she/her/hers)
UW Spanish & Portuguese Studies

photo of Julia Herschensohn, PhD

Julia Herschensohn, PhD (she/her/hers)
UW Department of Linguistics

Photo of Stefana Vukadinovich

Stefana Vukadinovich she/her/hers
UW Slavic Languages & Literatures

Dual language immersion (DLI) programs integrate majority (English) and minority (e.g., Spanish) language speaking children. These programs are advantageous both linguistically and academically for both groups of students. This presentation will demonstrate findings on Spanish present tense morphology by heritage language (HL) and second language (L2) children enrolled in a Spanish-English DLI program. It will present the analysis of a spontaneous writing task and will offer an example of a classroom activity beneficial for both Spanish HL and L2 children.

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF)


Student lightning presentations on second and heritage language research pedagogy

“Noticiero Latino” Role Play: An example of a task that enhances students’ agency and collaborative work while fostering practice in past tenses

photo of Ana María Ruiz

Ana María Ruiz (she/her)
UW Language, Literacy and Culture

During all the stages of this scaffolded task, students are encouraged to work collaboratively and make their own choices about the places and news they want to investigate and include in their news bulletin. At the same time, this activity promotes language creativity and resourcefulness as students are asked to play the roles of news presenters while practicing past tenses in an authentic and meaningful way.

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF)

Healing and Social Justice Work in the Spanish Heritage Language Classroom

photo of Melisa Miralles

Melisa Miralles (she/her/ella)
UW Language, Literacy and Culture

Even though current literature on Heritage Language (HL) education offers ideas of how to promote positive attitudes in the HL classroom, there is scant material on how to help students heal the emotional wounds that they usually come with. This presentation is grounded on a healing justice framework, which reflects the convergence of both healing and social justice work in education. Participants will become familiar with the notion of this approach, and will walk away with ideas of classroom activities that can be done in the heritage classroom to empower our students and prepare them to advocate for their communities.

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF) Activity 1 (PDF) Activity 2 (PDF) Activity 3 (PDF) Activity 4 (PDF)

Session hosted by:

photo of Angélica Amezcua, PhD

Angélica Amezcua, PhD (ella/she/her)
UW Spanish & Portuguese Studies


Cross-language Transfer in Mandarin-English Immersion

Children who are learning more than one language often draw from knowledge and experience in one language to support learning in a second language – a concept known as cross-language transfer. This study explored cross-language transfer of expressive oral vocabulary knowledge and definition skills among students in a Mandarin-English Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program. We found significant within and cross-language relationships in definition skills and cross-language relationships between expressive vocabulary and definition skills. Mandarin vocabulary knowledge had a moderating effect on the transfer of the syntagmatic aspect of Mandarin definition skill to the corresponding skill in English. Educational implications and research recommendations are discussed in relation to cross-linguistic transfer in bilingual learning among heritage and non-heritage learners.

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF)






Content-based heritage language learning

photo of Larisa Shuvalova

Larisa Shuvalova
UW STARTALK (Bellingham)

In this presentation you will hear about the highlights of the on-line Russian as a heritage language program funded by WA OSPI grant: creating social-emotional learning and the language arts content to meet the needs of the very diverse group in the times of the political turmoil.

Presentation (Video)


Decolonizing and Reformatting the UW Russian Student STARTALK program

photo of Svetlana Abramova, PhD

Svetlana Abramova, PhD

photo of Veronica Muskheli, PhD

Veronica Muskheli, PhD (she/her/hers)

photo of Alexey Kuznetsov

Alexey Kuznetsov

This session will cover how the UW STARTALK team plans to incorporate decolonization in the student program projects according to reflections on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and anti-colonial perspectives. In addition, this year's STARTALK program will have a year-around format, which presents some exciting opportunities and challenges.

Presentation (Video)

UW GenCyber Teams


Teaching Korean Language and Culture through Cybersecurity

A brief introduction to the upcoming 2023 UW Korean GenCyber program.

Presentation (Video)


The Role of Translanguaging in Language for Specific Purposes (LSP)

photo of Eduardo Viana da Silva, PhD

Eduardo Viana da Silva, PhD (he/him/his)
UW 2021 Portuguese GenCyber program

Presentation (Video) Presentation (PDF)



photo of Michele Anciaux Aoki, PhD

Michele Anciaux Aoki, PhD
2023 Heritage Language Symposium (Chair)

Presentation (Video)

Sponsored by

ARCS Logo ARCS Logo Avant Logo Global Studies Logo OSPI Logo Global Seal of Biliteracy Logo WAFLT Logo One World Now Logo LLC logo Speak Your Language Logo One America Logo Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) Language Resource Center Logo Education Office, Embassy of Spain
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