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If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed teaching heritage Spanish, you’ve come to the right place exists because of the challenges that heritage Spanish teachers face with so many different levels of language ability in one classroom.

Our mission is to keep your lessons engaging and appropriately leveled for your wide-array of students.

Unfortunately, textbooks do not hold our students' attention. This website is devoted to supporting teachers across the U.S. with relevant resources they can feel excited about using with their students.

Core Beliefs:

  • Our best learning takes place when we are engaged. 
  • Engagement takes place when we are active participants in the learning.
  • Heritage speakers deserve quality materials that meet their needs.
  • Every voice matters – our students’ identities and experiences are valid.
  • First and foremost, we are humans – teach the whole child.
  • Shared experiences build community.
  • The right book at the right level can ignite a love for reading.
  • School should be fun, so parties are a must!
  • You can learn something from everyone.

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Meet the Founder

Courtney Nygaard is the founder and CEO of and the Ascendencia Curriculum. She first fell in love with the Spanish language in Bolivia at age 16 and went on teach high school Spanish for 10 years.

The overwhelm set in when she began teaching a class for heritage speakers. Courtney loved the opportunity to connect with heritage speakers, but she felt like she was not meeting their needs with a textbook that was much too difficult. With the goal of ensuring each lesson and unit would be relevant and engaging, she began creating her own resources.

What started as a personal passion project has now evolved into a full-fledged curriculum and a team of editors, illustrators and curriculum writers that have come together to make it happen.

Learn more about Ascendencia

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