Literacy intervention for adolescents: A review of Spanish language heritage instruction

Heidi Noel Palms, Hamline University


This study is a systematic review of current research regarding Spanish language heritage instruction with a focus on middle and high school. With substantial evidence in the field at the elementary level indicating that literacy development of L1 supports the literacy development of L2, this study seeks to determine what current research shows regarding Spanish heritage instruction in middle and high school. Is there evidence of literacy gains in L2 English due to L1 Spanish instruction during adolescence? The final selection of studies from the systematic review includes a broad range of methodology, and correspondingly produces a broad range of results. Through thematic analysis, the key findings with evidence of L2 literacy gains include best practice strategies of collaboration, culturally relevant literature, and a specific connection to career pathways.