Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

Community-Based Heritage Language Schools Conference


There are thousands of community-based heritage language schools across the United States, teaching hundreds of languages. ­Joshua Fishman identified 1,855 schools in the 1960s and 6,533 in the 1980s (Fishman, 1966, 1985, 2001). The Coalition, established in 2012, seeks to connect, support, and advocate for these schools and build their visibility as a significant part of the national language learning landscape.

Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools

The Coalition does the following:

Collaborates with a group of Language Representatives, who represent the languages taught in community-based schools, are often teachers and administrators in these schools, and connect with their language communities and engage them in Coalition activities.

Documents community-based schools across the United States. Our goal is to document the thousands of schools teaching hundreds of languages that Joshua Fishman described. We have a long way to go!! If you know of schools, please ask them to complete the school survey. Here you can see a map of the schools documented at this point.

Hold an annual conference, which brings together school representatives across the country for panel discussions and workshops. The next conference will be held online Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8, 2022, with an on-site component at American University in Washington, DC. Registration will begin in July. Please join us and let your heritage language colleagues know about it!

9th Annual 2022 Heritage Language Schools Conference

Keynote speaker:
Ofelia García, Ph.D.,
Professor Emerita, Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)
Translanguaging Pedagogy in Community-Based Language Schools

Featured panelists:
Richard Brecht, Ph.D.,
Co-director, American Councils Research Center
The America’s Languages Portal: Model Programs and Practices Advancing Access and Equity in U.S. Language Education

Jim Cummins, Ph.D.,
Professor, University of Toronto
Doing Powerful Things with Language: How Heritage Language Schools and ‘Mainstream’ Education Can Work Together

Register now to attend the 9th Annual Heritage Language Schools Conference!

You can learn about and register for the conference and other activities by signing up for our newsletter. Newsletter (

If you would like to get involved in other ways, contact Joy Peyton,, Coalition President.