Module 4 Lesson 2

Gaining Heritage Student Data

Advantages and Survey Results

In this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify challenges and opportunities seen at the student, colleague, and administration level
  • Explore the use of surveys as an research instrument to gain data from heritage students

In the previous section, we explored different variables that should be considered that could help in the creation of an SHL program or course. There are challenges at times on the student, colleague, and administration level, but there are also opportunities.

In the following activity please answer the question pertaining to your specific SHL course or program. Then, fill out the following chart of the challenges and advantages that are seen on the student, teacher, and administration level.

Activity A
Briefly describe your current program and what you know about your student population.
Fill out the following chart

Obstacles, challenges Opportunities, advantages
Fellow Teachers

Once you have completed the chart, watch the following video where Dr. McNair and Dr. López Alonzo discusses these issues.

Video: Challenges and Advantages for SHL Course

There are various challenges yet there are opportunities which should always be considered. In the following segment, Dr. López Alonzo explains the different questions used in their student survey which consists of language use, writing samples, and attitudes.

Video: Survey Questions

Now that our advantages have been identified, answer the following questions:

Activity B: Plan of action

  1. How are you taking advantage of the opportunities in your HS program?
  2. What strategies do you think might help/did help your HS program to
    overcome the obstacles?

Once you have answered the questions, watch the following video segments.

Video: Activity and Survey Results

Video: Analyzing HS Writing Samples – Future of the Study

As seen with the survey results and writing samples, we can understand better the needs of our students. Creating a survey can be a valuable research instrument to gain information about our students and their needs.

Review Questions:

Module 4 Conclusions

This module is intended to explore the different challenges but also present possible strategies in the development of an SHL program or course. Dr. López Alonzo and Dr. McNair shared the progress of the development of their SHL course at Baylor University. We must begin by understanding our individual cases in terms of context, student population, and administrative understanding. Heritage programs appear to be gradually increasing across the United States. Also, we must recognize that many still have a deficit form of thinking where heritage student abilities are not fully understood and seen with lower value.

We then explored specific obstacles that we can directly impact such as the nature of our course description as well as the relationship we have with student advisors or counselors. We also can promote our program through the use of advertisements, networking with student organizations, and using social media. If students do not come to us, we must go to those students. There can be the issue that the heritage student may not fully understand what the course is and so we must make those clarifications.

Finally, we explored a valuable tool to gain information about our heritage students such as a survey. Dr. López Alonzo and Dr. McNair shared the questions they had in their survey which pertained to student language background, writing samples, and attitudes. This model used by Baylor University can be a reference or starting point for many SHL educators to implement in their own programs.

Help us make improvements and apply for grant funding by providing feedback in our survey.


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