Genre Pedagogy within Systemic Functional Linguistics: Avoiding Linguistic Hegemony in Spanish Classes in Higher Education

Ana Cristina Sanchez


The main purpose of this study is to explore the Spanish variety taught in Spanish as a foreign language courses in most colleges and universities in the United States, where many Heritage Spanish students attempt to relearn and enhance their heritage language skills. The paper will be inclusive of the presence of Spanish and the state of Heritage Spanish Education in the United States. Additionally, it will examine the characteristics of American Spanish and some of the bilingual practices of Heritage Spanish speakers due to their contact with English and other Spanish varieties. The study will also explore how a genre-based curriculum within the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics can accommodate HS students’ home varieties and expand their repertoire so they can have access to various linguistic varieties, including the standard used to teach the language in many Spanish classrooms in the United States.  


genre, heritage, Spanish, functional linguistics, varieties.

Full Text:



Achugar, M. & Pessoa, S. (2009). Power and place Language attitudes towards Spanish in a bilingual academic community in Southwest Texas. Spanish in Context. 6. 199-223. 10.1075/sic.6.2.03ach.

Artemeva, M. (2004). Key Concepts in Rhetorical Genre Studies: An overview. Technostyle 20(1)

Bawarshi, A. (2000). The genre function. College English, 62 (3), 335-360.

Beaudrie, S., & Fairclough, M. (2012). Introduction: Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. In Valdes, (Author) & Beaudrie & Fairclough, M. (Eds.), Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States: The State of the Field (pp. 1-18). Georgetown University Press. Retrieved from

Bullock, B., Toribio, A., Amengual, M. (2014). The status of s in Dominican Spanish. Lingua 142, 20-31, DOI:10.1016/j.lingua.2014.01.009

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carreira M. (2013). The vitality of Spanish in the United States. Heritage Language Journal, 10 (3)

Carreira, M. (2012). Meeting the needs of heritage language learners: Approaches, strategies, and research. In Valdes G. (Author) & Beaudrice S. Fairclough, M. (Eds.), Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States: The State of the Field. Georgetown University Press. Retrieved from

Carter, P. (2005). Do you speak American . Sea to shining sea. American varieties, Spanglish . USA Macneil/Lehrer Productions

Carvalho, A. (2012). Code-switching: From theoretical to pedagogical considerations. In Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States: The State of the field. 9781589019393, pp. 139-157). Georgetown University Press.

Caseres-Ramirez, O. (2018). Anglicismos. Una introducción a los anglicismos usados en el español. About Español.

Christie, F. (2005). Language education in the primary years. Sydney: UNSW Press

Colombi, C. (2009). A systemic functional approach to teaching Spanish for heritage speakers in the United States. Linguistics and education. 20, (1). ELSEVIER

Cooper, M. M., & Holzman, M. (Eds.). (1989 ). Writing as Social Action. Portsmouth,

Cummins, J. (2005). A Proposal for action: Strategies for recognizing heritage language competence as a learning resource within the mainstream classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 89(4), 585-592. Retrieved from

Derewianka, B. M. (2012). Knowledge about language in the Australian curriculum: English. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 35 (2), 127-146.

Derewianka, B. M. (2012). Knowledge about language in the Australian curriculum: English. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 35 (2), 127-146.

Ducar, C. (2008). Student Voices: The missing link in the Spanish heritage language. Foreign Language Annals. Vol. 41, No. 3, 415

Dumitrescu, D. (2012). "Hispania" Guest Editorial: "Spanglish": What's in a Name? Hispania, 95(3). Retrieved June 18, 2020, from

Echeverria, R. (1997) “Kay Possa! Is Spanglish a language?” The New York Times, March28, A29. Print.

Furiassi, C., Pulcini, V, Gonzales, R. (2012). The anglicization of European lexis. International Conference of the European Society for the Study of English.10, Eds. Cristiano Furiassi, Virginia Pulcini, Félix Rodríguez González. John Benjamins Publishing.

Garatea Graw, C. (2006). Pluralidad de normas en el español de América. Revista Internacional De Lingüística Iberoamericana, 4(1 (7)), 141-158. Retrieved from

Gonzales-Barrera A., Lopez M. H. (May 1, 2013). A Demographic Portrait of Mexican-Origin Hispanics in the United States Hispanic Trends. Pew Research Center.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning. London: Edward Arnold

Hancock, Z. (2002). Heritage Spanish speakers' language learning strategies. Center for Applied Linguistics. Eric Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics. 4646 40th Street NW. Washington DC 20016-1859 • 202-362-0700 ERIC Digest.

Hines, S. (2006, April). The bracero program: 1942-1964. Counter Punch.

Hyland, K. (2002) Genre-based pedagogies: A social response to process. 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. doi:10.1016/S1060-3743(02)00124-8

Hyland, K. (2003).Second language writing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN-13: 9780521534307

Hyon, S. (1996). Genre in three traditions: Implications for ESL. TESOL Quarterly, 30(4), 693-722. doi:10.2307/3587930

lagado-Diaz, G., Galarza, I. (2015). Selected proceedings of the 6th conference on laboratory approaches to romance phonology, ed. Erik W. Willis et al., 1-16. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Lipski, J. (2004). A history of Afro-Hispanic language: five centuries and five continents.

Lipski, J. (2008). Varieties of Spanish in the United States. Georgetown University Press. Retrieved from

Lipski, J. (2014) Spanish English codeswitching among low fluency bilinguals: Towards an expanded typology. Sociolinguistic Studies. Equinox Publishing, ISSN: 17508657

Lynch, A. (2003). Toward a theory of heritage language acquisition: Spanish in the United States. In Roca A. & Colombi M. (Eds.), Mi lengua: Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States, Research and Practice (pp. 25-50). Georgetown University Press. Retrieved from

Martin, J. R. (1985) . Factual writing: Exploring and challenging social reality. Geelong, Australia: Deakin University Press.

Miller, C. (1984). Genre as social action. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, 151-167.

Montes-Alcalá, C. (2015). Code-switching in US Latino literature: The role of biculturalism. Language and Literature, 24(3), 264–281.

Montrul, S. (2012) Is the heritage language like a second language? Eurosla Yearbook, Vol. 12. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Montrul, S. (2012) Is the heritage language like a second language? Eurosla Yearbook, Vol. 12. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Mrak, A. (2011). Heritage speakers and the standard: Fighting linguistic hegemony. Selected Proceedings of the 13th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, (ed) Luis A. New York: Teachers College Columbia University Press.

Otheguy, R. Garcia, O., Reid, W. (2018) A translanguaging view of the linguistic system of bilinguals. Applied Linguistics Review, De Gruyter Mouton,

Pascual y Cabo, D. & Prada, J. (2018). Redefining Spanish Teaching and Learning in the United States. Foreign Language Annals.

Poplack, S. (1980). Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Spanish y termino en español. Linguistics 18: 581–618. Doi:

Potowski, Kim (2010). Language Diversity in the United States. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Real Academia Española. (2005): Diccionario Panhispánico de dudas.

Sánchez Fajardo, José. (2016). Anglicisms and calques in upper social class in pre-revolutionary Cuba (1930–1959): A sociolinguistic analysis. International Journal of English Studies. 16. 33-55. 10.6018/ijes/2016/1/238751.

Shull, K. (2014). “Nobody Wants These People”: Reagan’s Immigration Crisis and the Containment of Foreign Bodies. In Body/Nation: The Global Realms of U.S. Body Politics in the Twentieth Century (Eds.) Emily S. Rosenberg and Shanon Fitzpatrick. Chapel Hill: Duke University Press.

Silvia-Corvalan, C. (1983). Code shifting patterns in chicano spanish. Spanish in the United States: Sociolinguistic aspects. (Eds.) Mastae, Elias-Olivares. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Stavans, A., Swisher, V. (2006). Language switching as a window on trilingual acquisition. International Journal of Multilingualism, 3 (3) p193-220 2006

Suarez, D. (2002). The paradox of linguistic hegemony and the maintenance of Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 23 (6).

Terrell, T. (1977). A natural approach to second language acquisition and learning. Modern Language Journal, 61, 325-337.

Tio, Salvador. 1954. Teoría del espanglish. A fuego lento, cien columnas de humor y una cornisa, 60-65. Rio Piedras: University of Puerto Rico.

Valdés- Fallis, G. (1978) A comprehensive approach to the teaching of Spanish to bilingual Spanish-speaking students. The Modern Language Journal, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 102-110, Wiley on behalf of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association, URL:

Valdes Fallis, G. (1997). The teaching of Spanish to Bilingual Spanish speaking students: Outstanding issues and unanswered questions. In ‘La enseñanza del español a hispanohablantes: Praxis y teoría, (Eds.) M. Cecilia Colombi and Francisco X. Alarcón. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Valdes, G. (2005). Bilingualism, Heritage Language learners, and SLA research: Opportunities Lost or Seized?. Modern Language Journal, Vol. 89, No. 3l

Valdés, G., Fishman, J. A., Chávez, R., & Pérez, W. (2008). Maintaining Spanish in the United States: Steps toward the effective practice of heritage language reacquisition/development. Hispania, pp. 4-24

Valdés, G., González, S., García, D., & Márquez, P. (2003). Language ideology: The case of Spanish in departments of foreign languages. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 34(1), 3-26. Retrieved from

Villa, D. (1996). Choosing a “standard” variety of Spanish for the instruction of native Spanish speakers in the U.S. Foreign Language Annals, 29 (2).

Yasuda, S. (2011) .Genre-based tasks in foreign language writing: Developing writers’ genre awareness, linguistic knowledge, and writing competence. Journal of Second Language Writing. Volume 20, Issue 2, June 2011, Pages 111-133.

Zentella, A. C. (2005) Building on strength: Language and literacy in Latino families and communities. Ed. New York: Teachers College Columbia University Press.

Zentella, A. C. (2002). Latin@ languages and identities. In M. Suárez-Orozco & M. Páez (Eds.) Latinos: Remaking America. pp. 321-338. Berkeley: University.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research