Heritage class cultivates comfort for native speakers


Over the past four years, the foreign language department has been working on the Heritage Language Learners course for Hispanic students at Perry Meridian. The only missing piece was a teacher who fit the job. 

Rosalilia Romo is in her second year teaching Spanish at Perry, but it’s not her first time teaching a class like this. Romo taught a similar class for 6 years while working at Arsenal Technical High School.

The purpose of the class is to cater to the students who already speak Spanish but would like to expand more in the grammar and writing. While the other Spanish classes are often filled with a mixture of students wanting to learn more with some native speakers. 

Romo hopes that with the start up of this class, Spanish speakers will be getting benefits that would help them out in the future.

Having students with cultural connections and backgrounds has made Romo feel like the class is moving in the right direction.

“Ithas been amazing how responsive the students have been, particularly because of that personal connection I’ve been building with them,” Romo says. 

Freshman Xitlali Casas Martel and sophomore Jose Tello feel comfortable being a part of the Heritage class, as they are surrounded by people who speak the language and relate to the culture. Being around other students who share the same culture and language allows Casas Martel and Tello to be themselves.

Casas Martel believes other Hispanic students should consider taking the class, as it can help them learn more about the culture they have grown up with and help expand their knowledge about the grammar and writing.

“Since everyone in there already speaks our language and we already know the basics, we just have more to learn,” Casas Martel says. 

Tello also hopes the outcome will be an expansion of his knowledge of a culture he is already familiar with. 

When freshman Lizbeth Angel was preparing her schedule, she was told that taking the class could help her with graduating and learning more about her culture. 

“It feels good because they all speak Spanish so it doesn’t feel weird,” says Angel.