Mizue Aiko


The number of heritage language speakers in the world has increased in recent years and the diversity and importance of heritage language education has become significant. The focus of this paper is Japanese heritage language learners in an Australian context. The project was conducted at a hoshuu-koo, a Japanese supplementary school and explored the experiences of a group of year seven students over a period of one year, in an alternative language class especially designed for heritage language learners. Emphasis for this study was on exploring the language learning experiences of a group of students and considering these against the experiences they brought with them to assist in their learning. The theoretical approach underlying the design of language instruction for the research was based on theories of language acquisition for heritage language learners and emphasised integrated, meaningful content with a focus on the academic register. Data were based on student performance in writing tasks. This research has implications for the design and pedagogical approaches adopted for Japanese heritage language education programs.


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Japanese heritage language (JHL) learners, hoshuu-koo, writing tasks, home environment


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