Graduate Certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education

An innovative online program emphasizing social justice and critical approaches to teaching Spanish

Jackelyn Mendez

Jackelyn Mendez

1. What MA program and concentration are you pursuing at GMU? What attracted you to this program?

I am currently pursuing a Master's of Interdisciplinary Arts (MAIS) and the concentration is Social Justice and Human Rights. After taking sociolinguistic courses in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages as an undergrad, I knew I wanted to do more research and learn more about how Latinxs in the United States are discriminated against in every aspect of their lives. I really enjoyed how MAIS gives you an opportunity to learn about social justice and human rights issues, but also how one can create their own individualized courses depending on their research interests.

2. Why did you decide to add the Graduate Certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education?

As an undergrad I had the honor to connect with many of the professors that will be teaching the courses of this graduate certificate, and I am excited to reconnect and learn more about language policies, language ideologies, and the education system. As my research study is focused on Latinxs in US education, I believe this certificate and all the courses will aid in working on my thesis and study.

3. What are your primary academic and/or research interests?

My research interests are Spanish sociolinguistics, language ideologies and policies in the United States, and I recently have been introduced to raciolinguistics and raciolinguistic ideologies.

4. What are your academic or career goals?

This upcoming semester (Spring 2022), I will be working on my thesis and creating my study. My academic goal is to be able to conduct a study, and curate a thesis depending on the results of my study.

5. Do you have any advice for prospective students in the certificate program?

My advice for prospective students is to connect with the faculty and professors of the certificate. In my case, the faculty and professors of the certificate have truly helped me with narrowing down my research interests, sending me articles that may help me with certain papers, and being there for me when I need advice.