Framing Identities in Motion

Framing Identities in Motion
2014 to 2015
Emerging Networks

This project will connect Duke students who are heritage speakers with students in other colleges in the USA and in Mexico who have similar backgrounds (a heritage speaker speaks English and also speaks or at least understands a language other than English that was spoken in their childhood home). The project’s main goal is for these students to explore and articulate the notion of identity within a collaborative framework. We expect them to develop an understanding of identity as a fluid notion negotiated through discourse, language, cultural practices, and products. Through virtual conversations, students will share and compare their cultural, linguistic, socio-political, and historical experiences with peers at other institutions. They will also engage in dialogue with alumni who are heritage speakers, especially former students of the course Spanish for Heritage Speakers.

Students will use sociolinguistic techniques, digital storytelling, and live conversations to explore their own identities, and also to compare and contrast, analyze and discuss the concept of identity with other heritage or bilingual speakers in the US and Mexico. Their final product will sum up their reflections on their own experiences and their exchanges with others over the course of the semester. The material created will serve as a digital archive to help future students navigate and explore bilingual or heritage-speaker identity.

Students in two courses at Duke will be involved in the project—Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SPANISH 305) and Spanish in/from the US (SPANISH 390). They will connect with counterparts at George Mason University, University of Houston, and Universidad de las Américas Puebla, México, as well as a group of US raised Dreamers who were (self)-deported back to Mexico. A former student from the 2014 Spanish for Heritage speakers course will serve as coordinator for the project.


Jessica del Villar
Undergraduate student
Joan Munné
Lecturer in Spanish
Assistant Director of the Spanish Language Program
Liliana Paredes
Professor of the Practice of Romance Studies


Looking In and Listening In

-- May 4 2016 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Community-based activities affect student engagement, motivation, understanding, and retention of course content, and we have firsthand evidence of this in our language courses. We have seen what it... Read More