The 8th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language (NSSHL) 

Thursday, May 13th, to Saturday, May 15th, 2021 

Organized by the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC), The Graduate Center, CUNY 

The National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language (NSSHL) is an intellectual forum for the discussion of both the variable linguistic reality of Spanish heritage bilingualism in the United States (and elsewhere), and the diverse pedagogical needs of students of Spanish as a heritage language. Researchers and educators in K–12 and higher education share theoretical and practical approaches to the study of Spanish as a heritage language from perspectives of various disciplines, including heritage language acquisition, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, and cultural studies, among others. This space allows participants to collaborate towards the implementation of pedagogies that enable heritage learners not only to develop their language proficiency but also to reflect on their own identity formation within a context of validation and empowerment. 

The 8th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language (NSSHL) was hosted by the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, on Thursday, May 13th and Friday, May 14th, 2021, with a workshop on Saturday, May 15th. This year, the symposium was held virtually through live panels and pre-recorded presentations, allowing for both synchronous (panels) and asynchronous (presentations) participation.

Invited panels took place through live video conferences in which the invited panelists engaged in discussions on pedagogy, virtual learning, sociolinguistics, and formal linguistics. The panels were organized alongside Q&A sessions with the audience, in order to allow for synchronous interaction and participation from all parties.  

For presentations, accepted papers were delivered by presenters through narrated PowerPoints (which are currently open to the public for viewing). Viewers were able to ask the presenters questions and contribute to ongoing discussions asynchronously, through each presentation’s discussion forum. 

Organizing Committee

  • Alberta Gatti, Director, ILETC, The Graduate Center, CUNY 
  • Syelle Graves, Assistant Director, ILETC, The Graduate Center, CUNY 
  • William Oliver, Research Assistant, ILETC, The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Juwon JunCollege Assistant, ILETC, The Graduate Center, CUNY 
  • María Julia Rossi, Assistant Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY 

CUNY Advisory Board

  • Berenice Darwich, Assistant Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
  • Evelyn Durán Urrea, Assistant Professor, Lehman College, CUNY 
  • Beatriz Lado, Associate Professor, Lehman College & The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Lorena Paz López, PhD Candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY 
  • Salvador Salazar, Assistant Professor, Bronx Community College, CUNY
  • David Sánchez Jiménez, Assistant Professor, NYC College of Technology, CUNY



This event was made possible in part by an NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) CARES grant.