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Arianna Berardi-Wiltshire

Doctor of Philosophy, (Linguistics and Second Language Teaching)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Italian identity and heritage language motivation: Five stories of heritage learning in traditional foreign language courses in Wellington, New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Berardi-Wiltshire addressed the question of how feeling Italian influences the motivation of students of Italian descent to engage in the study of their heritage language. Her study shows that a personal conviction to one’s own Italian identity is often both the initial inspiration and a crucial sustaining force during the process of learning Italian as a heritage language. It also shows that language instructors can play a critical role in supporting their students’ motivation by validating and encouraging their feelings of Italian identity. The study ultimately suggests that exploring and embracing such role should be the main priority of all language teachers whose classes include heritage language learners.

Professor Cynthia White
Dr Martin Paviour-Smith

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