You are cordially invited to luncheon with the Oneonta Faculty Convivium on Thursday, September 29, noon to 1:00 p.m., in Le Café, Morris. Dr. MC Montoya, Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages & Literatures, will present a talk titled, Preserving our Heritage Languages, “Spanish for Bilinguals” – A Pedagogical Laboratory for Research on Heritage Language Maintenance in the U.S.
Abstract: Dr. MC Montoya has been teaching Spanish for Bilinguals for the last 16 years at SUNY-Oneonta. This pedagogical practice has grown into her main research interest in the field of heritage languages and linguistic ideologies about bilingualism in the United States. The course enrolls Hispanic students with diverse oral and written proficiency levels. They engage in an autobiographical writing process in a college course designed for heritage language learners only. They share common experiences growing up with two languages and two cultures, and similar life struggles. The development of a step-by-step writing process motivates them to write fluently while turning an oral private language into a written public one. This methodology promotes creativity and discussions about dual identity, future goals and responsibilities as a growing minority in the U.S. Students also learn syntactic rules, orthography and stylistics. By collecting this student work, Dr. Montoya has gathered rich data to examine motives and strategies used in private environments to maintain a minority language, even in the absence of community support. This research within the classroom practice has also expanded to a current interdisciplinary study between sociology and foreign languages about the maintenance of heritage languages in rural New York State.
Dr. Montoya’s research in heritage language maintenance has been the theme of various conference presentations and published works. Most recent is the book entitled “Mi vida en los Estados Unidos, jóvenes de herencia hispanohablante escriben sus experiencias” [My Life in the United States, Young Spanish Heritage Language Speakers Write About Their Experiences], which is a finalist for two awards (Most Inspirational Non-fiction and Best Autobiography) from Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Award (the largest awards in the U.S. celebrating achievement in Latino literature). Proceeds from sales of the book are being used to create a student scholarship within the College at Oneonta Foundation for the recovery of heritage languages.
Seating is limited. To reserve a seat please call X2517 prior to September 27. Vegetarian meals are