Social and other nonlinguistic dimensions of grassroots heritage language community groups

The case of La Casa Amistad


  • Martin Guardado University of Alberta



Heritage language development, language socialization, diasporic familism, grassroots community groups, sense of community, Black churches, Spanish, Hispanics


In this article, I focus on the different roles that self-formed ethnic community groups play in the heritage language socialisation of Hispanic families. The article is based on an ethnographic study conducted in La Casa Amistad, a small group of middle-class Hispanic families living in Vancouver, Canada. The analysis focuses on the different ways in which membership in the group supported the families in their goals to raise multilingual children, and on how the group became a bridge that connected likeminded parents who shared a similar culture as well as language beliefs, values and practices. Group participation also provided a safe environment where members reported feeling a sense of belonging. In this manner, such supportive and non-threatening environment functioned like a surrogate extended family

Author Biography

Martin Guardado, University of Alberta

Martin Guardado obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia and is now a Professor at the University of Alberta. His research interests straddle sociocultural and applied linguistics, with particular current emphasis on the interplays between heritage language socialisation, diasporic identities and intergenerational family communication dynamics.


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How to Cite

Guardado, M. . (2021). Social and other nonlinguistic dimensions of grassroots heritage language community groups: The case of La Casa Amistad. Journal of Multilingual Theories and Practices, 2(1), 47–70.