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thefallthatfollows said: OKAY I saw what you added to the vosotros quote (and personally, obviously, I agree that it should be taught because I use it) but I have a devil's advocate sort of question for you. Where is the line drawn, in your opinion, for language variation (since technically it is only used in one specific dialect) being taught in the classroom? Should we also be teaching vos? Should this happen at all levels of language learning? What about with US heritage speakers? Does that apply to them?
My main reason for having vosotros taught is that it shows up in a lot of literature and on higher lever exams (AP Level & later on in college). I grew up reading & speaking Spanish and never “worried” about it & then I decided to become a Spanish major and I was so unprepared to use/recognize the vosotros form. If it shows up on forms/tests, I say teach it & use it, I think there could be an argument made for teaching variation at the AP level such as voseo because it’s something you need to learn if you’re going to be handling higher level texts and listening to different speakers. As far as heritage speakers, absolutely, for the reasons listed above and to teach early on that variation does not equal a “better” or “worse” Spanish. Thanks for the question thefallthatfollows !
Teaching to a test always seems iffy to me but that’s me being an idealist. I realize teaching to a test has it’s practical uses regardless of how unnatural it is in terms of language acquisition.
Personally in my lower level classes I don’t “teach them” certain dialectal variants, but I make them aware that they exist. So I won’t teach them how to conjugate the voseo but in the chapter where we focus on Argentina and other countries that implement it, I’ll mention that it exists and explain it’s function. Which is exactly what I do with vosotros - at the beginning of the class I say “this is what vosotros means, this is what it looks like, this is where it’s typically implemented, be able to recognize when I use it because I do use it throughout the class.”
I think it gets a little trickier when you get talking about heritage learners, especially those in the US. You have to take into account why a heritage speaker is taking the class - and many studies of heritage speakers show they are more interested in learning about their family’s dialect/culture in class and are more interested in using language that directly pertains to them. Should we force a student with Mexican heritage or Cuban heritage how to produce the vosotros if they’re in a heritage learning class? I don’t necessarily think we should.
But let’s be real I just took an entire course for the last fifteen weeks talking about these kinds of issues and none of us could come to a consensus on any of it so it’s all good discussion.
We actually don’t have that many heritage speaker classes here, at least I’ve never been in one. I think the most important thing about teaching variations is that they’re aware they exist and that none are “better” than the other, none of my classes have come to a consensus either :)