Senator Howard Stephenson is well-known for his unrelenting passion to provide better educational opportunities for children. In 2008 he passed legislation that established a dual-immersion language program that has become a nationally renowned. The program is just one highly notable example of how Utah schools are preparing students for the global job market in the 21st century.
In less than a decade over 40,000 students in the state, beginning in the First grade and continuing with the program through High School, have participated in this program. By the time these students graduate from High School, they will be just two classes short of a college minor in the language they have studied.
Last week, Senator Stephenson visited Wasatch Elementary in Provo, one of the original schools in the state to offer Chinese. Over 600 students in Provo have studied Chinese at this school. Many will continue their studies as they move on to High School next year and will take the Chinese AP test the following year.
(Click here for the report from Provo City School District)
Gregg Roberts, Specialist of World Languages and Dual Immersion at the Utah State Office of Education shares some of the benefits of the dual language immersion program, “Achievement data is showing that students enrolled in dual language immersion do as well or better than their peers in English, language arts, and math.” Roberts also explained that the benefits extend beyond academics, for example, students also exhibit higher satisfaction and excitement for school when learning a second language early on in their education.
For more about this remarkable program that is helping students communicate and see the world more clearly, watch this video.