"Over 57 million people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006-2010). Individuals exposed to a language spoken at home but educated primarily in English are heritage speakers of the home language.

NHLRC's mission is to develop effective pedagogical approaches to teaching heritage language learners, both by creating a research base and by pursuing curriculum design, materials development, and teacher education.

The creation of a national center dedicated to heritage language education attests to the importance of this new field to the nation. California is an ideal venue for NHLRC since almost 27% of its population five years of age and older is foreign born, and 42% speak a home language other than English (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2009)."

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