September 22, 2012

Article: Utah Dual-Immersion Programs To Expand As Students Graduate Age


Elevating the conversation: Dual-immersion students, classes grow up
By Benjamin Wood
September 9, 2012

With Spanish-, French- and Chinese-speaking elementary students getting older each year, Davis School District is venturing into uncharted territory for Utah and the next inevitable step in language education this fall: junior high immersion programs.

"We're sort of blazing the trail," said the district's secondary world languages supervisor, Bonnie Flint. "We had to think, 'What are we going to do for these kids?' We couldn't just drop them."

Carmiol is quick to point out that other school districts, such as Salt Lake City and Alpine, have made efforts to accommodate immersion students when they leave elementary school. But Davis is the first district in Utah to create a secondary immersion program that follows students as they move toward high school graduation.

In Utah, the number of schools offering immersion courses has grown steadily each year. In 2009 there were 25 dual-language programs in the state and today there are 77, according to the State Office of Education. This year also marks the first time Portuguese dual immersion is offered, with programs at Rocky Mountain Elementary in Alpine School District and Lakeview Elementary in Provo.

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