The Role Identity Plays in Choosing High School Spanish Classes The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. According to the 2009 census the number of school age students in the United States who speak a language other than English at home increased from 4.7 to 11.2 million from 1980 to 2009, 8.067 million of that population spoke Spanish (2009 US census). This increase presents a challenge for school districts all around the nation. Spanish heritage students have specific needs in order to be successful in school. Research tells us “for the education system, this ever-increasing proportion of Hispanics born in the United States means that there will be more and more SHL students trying to reconnect with their linguistic and cultural roots in the future” (Abdi, K 2011). This research paper looks at the role of the SHL identity and how it influences their choice in selecting high school Spanish classes, their success in these non-core courses and the impact it has on their school and family life. Information collected for this paper is based on anonymous multiple choice questions given to SHL and Spanish teachers from several levels at a suburban school with a predominant white middle class population. These research findings have the following implications: change the way teachers view SHL in their classes ending the stereotype that these students take these classes just to get an easy grade, help teachers make curriculum changes that help students learn from their culture and help teachers to understand the diversity within the SHL and their learning needs.