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Abstract

After a theoretical overview of the concept of heritage language (HL) from a plurilingual perspective, we will present the project “Images on the (teaching of) Portuguese Language abroad”. For this project, several drawings were collected, produced by lusodescendant children living in Germany and attending supplementary Portuguese lessons. We will analyze four tendencies of students’ representations towards Portuguese and German, as well as towards the skills they have developed in those languages. These representations illustrate four profiles of Portuguese Heritage Language (PHL) learners present in the classroom (in terms of motivations, skills, linguistic repertoires, etc.). As conclusions, we will point at: (a) the validity of a study on representations by means of a drawing collection method, in order to understand the heterogeneity of PHL learners and the need to diversify the teaching-learning strategies; and (b) the advantages of understanding the relationships subjects establish with their languages and with the multilingual and plurilingual milieu they live in, in order the enhance the efficiency of HL education.

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