Resources for Teachers


All Languages


Teaching Heritage Language Learners: An Online Workshop

This online professional course for teachers of heritage language learners, developed by the National Heritage Language Resource Center (NHLRC), is a one-semester course, with 5 self-paced modules, that can be taken when the participant chooses. As you complete the first module, you will gain a better understanding of important differences between heritage language learners (HLLs) and foreign language learners (FLLs). In the second module, you will learn about strategies for working with heritage language students in the classroom. Module 3 focuses on issues that are language specific. For each language, you will hear a scholar discuss topics that s/he has found relevant and challenging in the teaching of that language to heritage language students.


Register here:



Inquiry-Based Learning: Research, Projects, and Teacher Professional Development


Inquiry-based learning engages students actively in their own learning, with the teacher acting as a facilitator and guide. Students focus on specific topics and themes that they are interested in - choosing a focus, considering what they know, learning more through exploration of new resources, and presenting what they have learned. Participants in the online course, Critical Approaches to Heritage Language Education, offered by the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater (August 2020; J. Eik Diggs was the facilitator), developed inquiry-based learning projects, which are described here so that others can use them. They were developed for speakers of a specific language, but they could be easily adapted for use in classes focused on other languages.

Inquiry-based Projects


Elementary School: 

Middle School:

High School: 


Project-Based Learning: Background and Instructional Strategies

Project-based learning -- which includes curriculum, instructional materials, classroom activities, and assessment of learning -- is a proficiency-oriented approach to using and learning a language that supports language use in the real world. Here we provide a handbook and a brief video by Dr. Maria Carriera (25 minutes long) that describe the key components of project-based learning, and a document with instructional strategies that teachers in community-based schools can use.


Project Based Learning Handbook

What Does It Take for a Project to be Authentic?

PBL Works Gold Standard Essential Project Design Elements

 Below are two examples of project-based learning plans, which were developed and used in a community-based Portuguese school in Virginia, and a template that you can complete to develop and implement a project-based learning unit in your school. Please review the examples, use the template to plan your own project-based learning activity, and send what you have developed to Joy Peyton ( We will collect these and share them with each other. In the process, we will learn a great deal about ways to implement project-based learning in community-based heritage language schools!


Project-Based Learning Project - Denise Corte (ABRACE Portuguese School)

Project-Based Learning Project - Claudia Da Costa (ABRACE Portuguese School)

Project-Based Learning - Project planning template


Six Things You Might Not Know About Heritage Language Schools

 Author: Aberdeen, Trudie

 Source: Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, Volume 27, Number 1, Summer 2016, pp. 13-20(8)

 Publisher: National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA)

Click to read the article.

International Languages: ILE Program (2012 Resource Guide)

This resource guide, written by Constantine Ioannou, with ILEA (International Educators' Association), Ontario, Canada, describes how ILE (International Language Organizations, for us, community-based heritage language schools), can build and sustain the key features of these schools. It will be very helpful to leaders of community-based schools in the United States!

Read the 2012 Resource Guide here.


2019 Report on U.S. Employers' Demand for Language Skills

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and Lead with Languages, ACTFL's public awareness campaign regarding the need for proficiency in languages for global engagement, have published this report, Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers, which shares the findings of a survey of 1,200 U.S. employers and their views about the need for language proficiency. Teachers and students in your schools will find inspiration from reading this report.

The report is available at


Weakened Languages of India's Diaspora, Surendra Gambhir

Available at: Weakened Languages of India's Diaspora and a Model For Language Revitalization

 Overview of Heritage Languages in the Diaspora


Specific Languages


Lithuanian Saturday Schools in Chicago: Student Proficiency, Generational Shift, and Community Involvement, Aurelija Tamošiūnaitė (2013). Available at:



Curriculum Development in a Heritage Language Community-based School: A Qualitative Inquiry regarding a Brazilian-Portuguese Program in South Florida, Ivian Destro Boruchowski (2014). Available at:


Handbook for Portuguese Instructors, Gláucia Silva and Ivian Destro Boruchowski (2017). Available at:


Other Organizations


The Heritage Language Schools of Eindhoven (HLSE) seek to maintain and develop the heritage languages of children in the Netherlands.


International Films Available Online

Justine Barda has developed a website for finding international films online, The site offers a database of 450,000 films, which is free to use (although most of the films aren’t free). Users can search by film title, country, language, genre, director, etc. The goal is to make available everything that’s out there, if it’s available to watch. You can click through to the streaming service of your choice.

Film and video content can be a useful tool in teaching, perhaps even more so with the rise in online education/distance learning. One feature that has proven especially popular is the sharable watchlist, which allows teachers to create watchlists of films for different courses, and to share them with students if they wish.

You can click on the “Available to view” filter on the search results page. Then “Browse All” to get to the search results page and then filter by the language. When those films come up, click on “Available to view,” and see what results you get.

Note: Some of the films that come up for the language are not in the language, but the language is mentioned, so it comes up.

If you have questions, you can write to Justine,

Published: Monday, August 6, 2018