The growth of Spanish heritage language (SHL) programs in the United States has brought increasing interest among scholars to two key issues for SHL instruction: academic language placement and language assessment (Beaudrie, 2012; Fairclough, 2012). SHL programs have been pressed to find effective ways to both identify and place students in the appropriate course or determine if the student qualifies for the courses offered in the track. At the same time, the particularities of SHL learners have posed unique challenges in the areas of language proficiency assessment and the measurement of student progress. This chapter offers a review of current scholarship in this area of research as well as practical recommendations and ideas for those seeking to strengthen their placement and assessment practices in SHL courses. As way of conclusion, recommendations for future research will be offered.
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