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Heritage language learning
or heritage language acquisition is the act of learning a language
Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive, produce and use words to understand and communicate. This capacity involves the picking up of diverse capacities including syntax, phonetics, and an extensive vocabulary. This language might be vocal as with...
by someone from the family heritage. According to a generally accepted definition by Valdés (2000), heritage language is the language someone learns at home as a child which is a minority language in society, but because of growing up in a dominant language, the speaker seems to be more competent in the latter and feels more comfortable to communicate in that language. Polinsky & Kagan (2007) label it as a continuum that ranges from fluent speakers to barely speaking individuals of the home language. In some countries or cultures where they determine one's mother tongue by the ethnic group, a heritage language
would be linked to native language
The heritage language learners differ from other types of language learners. Kagan & Dillon (2003) provide us with distinctions among students of Russian as a native language, a heritage language or a foreign language.
| Language || Native || Foreign || Heritage
| L1 or L2 (age)
|| L1 (child)
|| L2 (after the first language has been acquired)
| Exposure to target Language
|| Full language Community
|| Outside of community
|| Limited community