Assessment and Curriculum for Heritage Language Learners: Exploring Russian Data

  • Olga Kagan
  • Anna KudymaEmail author
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 37)


This study analyzes data from the questionnaires and online tests administered to 94 heritage speakers of Russian who took placement tests at UCLA between 2013 and 2016.

The online test assesses all four skills, allowing an evaluation of learners’ grammatical competence, knowledge of vocabulary, and ability to handle pragmatics. We make recommendations for curricular design based on the integrative nature of the test.

This study focuses on second-generation students, namely, those born in the United States to at least one Russian-speaking parent, as these students comprise over 50% of our test-takers. We also illustrate the findings by closely analyzing the background and performance of four second-generation students who are representative of the range of heritage language learners in our program.

While this study is based on Russian data, we anticipate that its conclusions will apply to other heritage languages and heritage language programs, in particular to less-commonly-taught languages.


Heritage students Heritage language learners Second-generation Placement test Assessment Curriculum 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and CulturesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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