A critical exploration of heritage language learners’ identities within Hellotalk





CALL. eTandem. Heritage. Identity. MALL. Spanish. Telecollaboration.


There is a need for critical, inclusive analyses that uncover the constraints that reinforce monolingual ideologies and reject the expression of multilingual and multicultural identities that are evident in eTandem applications (ORTEGA, 2017; VOLLMER RIVERA, 2017; VOLLMER RIVERA; TESKE, 2018). One population that may be affected by these constraints are Heritage Language Learners (HLL), who make up a diverse group of learners that have varying linguistic and cultural knowledge stemming from language and cultural exposure generally stemming from a more familial and community context (POTOWSKI, 2005). Drawing on identity theory (CUMMINS, 2001, 2009), this study investigates how HLL (N = 11) construct their identities within the constraints of the dichotomous eTandem learning environment HelloTalk by examining participant-reported reflections. Vis-á-vis content analysis (KRIPPENDORF, 1989) informed by Critical Applied Linguistics (PENNYCOOK, 2001) the results showed that although some features promote collaborative relations of power, in general the design of the application fosters coercive relations of power.


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Biografia do Autor

Kaitlyn Teske, San Diego Padres

Kaitlyn Teske holds a PhD in Spanish from Arizona State University where she specialized in Second Language Acquisition. She also has a certificate in Computer Assisted Language Learning. Her research focuses on equitably serving all types of language learners through the use of technology.

Alexis Vollmer Rivera, Q-Q Research Consultants

Alexis Vollmer Rivera holds a doctoral degree in Spanish (Linguistics) with an emphasis in Second Language Acquisition, as well as a certificate in Computer-Assisted Language Learning. The motivation of her work lies in connecting critical research to social justice and civic issues by means of community engagement.




Como Citar

Teske, K., & Vollmer Rivera, A. (2018). A critical exploration of heritage language learners’ identities within Hellotalk. Revista Do GEL, 15(3), 279–301. https://doi.org/10.21165/gel.v15i3.2399



Edição Temática v. 15 n. 3 (2018)