Talk by Prof. Yang-Desai: Identity, Emotion, and Heritage Language Development

Event Date: 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Event Location: 

  • Phelps 5309
Please join us for our Fall 2023 Applied Linguistics colloquium featuring Prof. Yang Xiao-Desai (San Francisco State University).

Wednesday November 15th, 2023, 3:30-4:30pm

Identity, emotion, and heritage language development

This talk presents a series of studies centered around a few key elements in heritage language education: identity, emotion, language learning, and language pedagogy. Globalization increasingly creates a transnational space where people grow up with multiple languages and dialects of different functions, such as home language, school language, and societal language. The growing population of heritage language learners is a byproduct of this process. Typically, they are children of immigrant families whose language ability develops through a series of sociolinguistic events—contact with a home language and a societal language in early childhood, shift to societal language as the primary language at school, dominance in societal language by early adulthood, and sometimes, relearning of the home language during adulthood. Their language learning journey breaks the codified norms we usually hold for first language, second language, and native language; their parallel socialization in different language communities produces shifting identities (Wong & Xiao, 2010), gives rise to unique language-related emotional profiles (Xiao & Wong, 2014; Xiao-Desai, 2019b), and shapes a hybrid system of heritage learner pragmatics (Taguchi & Roever, 2017; Xiao-Desai, 2019a).


Dr. Yang Xiao-Desai is Professor of Chinese in San Francisco State University. She received her Ph. D. from University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her main areas of research are in heritage language development, second language acquisition, and language teacher education. She is interested in various social and affective factors of heritage/immigrant language population, and uses mixed method to study heritage language development, particularly the development of pragmatic competence. Her publications have appeared in Modern Language Journal, Heritage Language Journal, Chinese as a Second Language Research, etc. Prior to San Francisco State University, she has also taught in University of South Carolina, UC Davis and Middlebury College.