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Heritage Language
Heritage Language
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Heritage Language and Culture (HLC) classes are courses that support students' understanding of their home language and culture. Unlike the World Languages program, the HLC program expects that students arrive with some knowledge of the home language and culture. Culture, traditions, and other content are taught through the language, rather than focusing strictly on language as the object of instruction.
 
HLC classes are offered at the following schools:

Sample Curriculum Guides (PDFs):


 
Who can participate in Heritage Language and Culture classes?
HLC programs are open to all students, provided that space is available. No student will be excluded on the basis of proficiency in the home language or knowledge of the home culture. However, all interested families should be aware that the program is designed for students with prior knowledge, and those lacking such knowledge may find it difficult to keep pace with the class.
 
Why take a Heritage Language and Culture class?

1) Strengthened cultural connections: For students who grow up in the United States and attend US schools, teacher-supported study of home language and culture can provide the tools for communicating with community members and family members.

2) Cognitive, academic, and professional benefits: Heritage language and culture classes promote bilingualism, which supports students in developing important cognitive, academic, and professional skills. Research shows that bilingualism improves certain executive functions, such as staying focused on a specific task as well as switching between tasks while still retaining information. Bilingualism also opens up a wide array of educational and job opportunities once students graduate.


Goals

Develop language and cultural connections: The program seeks to sharpen students' communication skills in the home language by providing formal instruction on academic and social language. These language skills will in turn help students connect with community members who speak that same language.
 
Affirm importance of linguistic diversity: Through these programs, MPS seeks to affirm the importance of the communities who speak Hmong, Somali, and Spanish. We believe that these communities help make Minneapolis a vibrant, prosperous, and culturally-rich city.
 
We will know we are successful when;
1) Students are able to communicate with community members and family members in their home language.
2) Students are able to earn a Seal of Biliteracy or college credit in Spanish.
3) We are able to have Heritage Language programs in as many schools as needed by the community.