Close-Up on Heritage Language Learners: An Inquiry project


Close-up on Heritage Language Learners is an exploratory project that examines the integration of web and mobile technologies in the heritage language classroom.


The project follows learner-centred approaches to learning and is undertaken in two community schools in the UK. It utilises methods of inquiry learning (e.g., observation, data collection, reflection) along with web and mobile technologies to support young people in diaspora communities to get involved in social science research, engage critically with their everyday experiences and grasp challenging concepts such as identity and heritage. Through means of citizen-led inquiry, Close-Up on Heritage Language Learners aims to boost learners’ motivation and commitment towards studying language at advanced level (GCSE, A’Level). Additionally it aims to give young people access to cultural experiences such as object-based activities in a museum and in the school, with an aim of capitalising on these to develop speaking and writing skills as well as digital skills. The main research question that the project addresses is: How does citizen-led inquiry provide the means to support young people’s learning and development of personally resonant explorations of their heritage and culture?

The project received funding by the British Academy Schools Language Awards (2015) and involved collaboration with the Community Partnerships Team at the British Museum, London and two community schools in Milton Keynes and Leicester. The participants were young people attending pre-GCSE, GCSE and A Level lessons (13-17 years old) in the schools.