"To ensure that the Colleges of Education and Humanities are working together at all 6 major Utah universities to offer the new Dual Language Immersion endorsement at the Bachelor's level in order to produce a cadre of Dual Language Immersion teachers ASAP! This request comes from the Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, so currently all the Deans seem to be on board."
Gregg Roberts, World Languages Specialist & Dual Language Immersion Specialist, Teaching and Learning, Utah State Office of Education, just sent me two emails with updates on foreign language immersion developments in Utah.
Here are our numbers and short term goal for the state supported Dual Language Immersion program:
Here are our Dual Language Immersion program numbers for the 2012-13 school year:
Mandarin Chinese – 25 schools and approximately 3,900 students, grades K-4
French – 10 schools and approximately 2,200 students, grades K-4
German – 1 school and approximately 50 students, grade 1
Portuguese – 2 schools and approximately 110 students, grade 1
Spanish – 42 schools and approximately 9,000 students, grades K-7
You can see why we need so many teachers and the marching orders to produce them came from the top. Currently we are bringing to Utah 48 International Guest Teachers on J-1 Visas sponsored by the Utah State Office of Education to teach in our Dual Language Immersion programs, but they can only stay a maximum of 3 years. They are very good and it brings instant culture from a native speaker, but It is a revolving door so we want to produce more of our own:.
Second, specifically on Utah’s higher education support for immersion teaching (as compared to Oregon’s non-support (here)):
We had over 60 Higher Education and K-12 people in attendance at our first annual Utah Dual Immersion (now Dual Language Immersion) Research and Teacher Education Conference (agenda attached). All 6 major Utah universities were represented. The GOALS of the conference were:
1. To prioritize 4 areas of research using the data on Utah Dual Language Immersion students that is being collected by the Utah State Office of Education and the 17 school districts currently involved in the program.The Utah Policy Center will take the lead since they already have a contract with the USOE and have access to the state data warehouse. We will hopefully have the priority list by April 1, and I will gladly send it to you.
2. To ensure that the Colleges of Education and Humanities are working together at all 6 major Utah universities to offer the new Dual Language Immersion endorsement at the Bachelor's level in order to produce a cadre of Dual Language Immersion teachers ASAP! This request comes from the Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, so currently all the Deans seem to be on board. The University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University and Weber State University already have their new Dual Language Immersion programs approved by their governing body. Utah Valley University and Southern Utah University will have theirs in place by Fall 2013.
We all agreed that this new conference would become an annual event co-hosted by the University of Utah and the Utah State Office of Education.
What a difference a governor can make!