Congratulations to Mariana Mata!

¡Felicidades a Mariana Mata de St. Mary’s University, nuestro Heritage Student Spotlight por el mes de marzo! En sus propias palabras:

My name is Mariana Mata. I am a first-generation college student born and raised in San Antonio, TX. I am currently a sophomore International/Global Studies and Spanish double major at St. Mary’s University. Spanish is my mother tongue. It was the language introduced to me at birth. When I was younger, Spanish was mostly spoken at home, and with the rest of my family. I am also able to use it on campus since most of my friends are native/heritage speakers of Spanish and I also use it in the classroom due to my major.

A piece of advice that I would give to another Spanish heritage student is to embrace their way of speaking, no matter the prejudice. The Spanish language has many varieties and they all should be embraced and celebrated. One of the main things that I love about using and embracing my heritage language is that I can communicate with different people of various backgrounds, and I also take pride in knowing that I can be of help to people that need translating.

One of the ways I have benefited from studying my heritage language is that I finally understand the struggle some L2 learners have when learning Spanish, such as learning certain grammar rules, and because of that, my respect for them has grown even more. My future plan is to attend graduate school and attain an MA in Linguistics. I also plan on starting my own research on heritage language and on teaching Spanish abroad.

Mariana was nominated by her professor, Dr. Meghann M. Peace, who worked closely with her in the classroom and was struck by her intelligence, passion, and commitment to social justice issues, as well as her already promising research among Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S. Si usted es instructor/a de español como lengua de herencia en Texas, y quiere nominar a un estudiante, favor de entregar una solicitud a nuestro sitio web.