Lexical Development and Oral Proficiency in Portuguese as a Heritage Language
There is a long tradition of measuring vocabulary learning in second language acquisition and establishing its correlation with the overall level of proficiency in the the target language. However, when it comes to heritage languages, the intensive (and not always productive) debate about how to evaluate the language proficiency of heritage speakers made it harder to investigate the potential impact of lexical acquisition in language development. This project looks into possible ways of describing oral proficiency in heritage speakers and its potential correlation with lexical learning. PI: Alexandre dos Santos (UMass)
The Acquisition of Derivational Morphology and Reading Proficiency in Portuguese as a Heritage Language
Heritage Language Vocabulary Assessment
This is an ongoing collaboration between members of the Polyglot Lab and the Laboratório de Psicolinguística at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil). The current collaboration lead to the development of a vocabulary level test (VLT) for Portuguese as a second language, which is currently being tested with heritage speakers of Portuguese in Massachusetts. PIs: Alexandre Alves Santos (UMass), Thaís de Sá (UFMG) , Ricardo de Souza (UFMG), Luiz Amaral (UMAss).
The Heritage Language 2 Consortium
The Polyglot Lab is a strategic partner of the Heritage Language 2 Consortium in Europe. The first objective of the Consortium is to promote research on heritage and second language learning in a variety of settings (from naturalistic development to classroom-based instruction) and across different age groups (children, adolescents and adults). The main focus is on the acquisition of Portuguese in multilingual settings, but the insights gained from Consortium projects are applicable to other languages. In 2022, we co-organized the first Heritage Language Around the World Conference in Lisbon. The next version of the conference will be at UMass Amherst in 2024.