Apr. 9, 2018

Inside many Latino homes in the United States, families often communicate using both English and Spanish, switching seamlessly between the two languages. While the older family members likely use more Spanish than English, the children are usually English-dominant. Although their communicative skills in Spanish are a valuable resource, the young people often carry a stigma about the kind of Spanish they speak.

Enter Emily D. Bernate, assistant professor of Spanish and Linguistics at St. Edward’s University, who is working to remove the stigma by using research to prove that the Spanish spoken by heritage speakers (people raised in a home where a non-majority language is spoken) is a valuable resource that should be cultivated. Bernate is hoping to elevate the often-dismissed variety of Spanish called U.S.

Headshot of Emily D. Bernate.