Spanish heritage language learners (SHLL) on the United States-Mexico border in Texas often select online classes for convenience. This qualitative investigation presents preliminary information on how these SHLLs view twenty online Spanish courses based on 391 course evaluations. The literature indicates a need to consider heritage languages learners (HLL) distinct from other language learners, yet no study exists on how these learners, as indicated through student course evaluations, perceive their needs. The study seeks to answer a two-part research question with the purpose of presenting strategies that SHLLs believe contribute to language learning online. The first part of the research question considers aspects of online language courses viewed positively or negatively; the second part considers these students' awareness of the five goal areas within the World Readiness Standards (WRS), used because Spanish programs at the time of data collection implemented the WRS to guide instruction. Results indicate four major observations, which can serve to guide instructors in preparing and implementing online Spanish language classes. Additionally, results suggest these SHLLs were not directly aware of the WRS in their online courses; however, their written suggestions indicate a desire for one or more of those capabilities. Future work comparing these SHLL preliminary results with non-HLLs is warranted.


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pp. 353-367
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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