You might receive these greetings if you stick your head into the classrooms of many Utah elementary schools. But you’ll also hear much more than “hello” in Mandarin, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.
Children as young as five are learning subjects like math and science in foreign languages through Dual Language Immersion (DLI) in elementary schools and the Critical Languages Program (CLP) in secondary schools—programs that are spreading like wildfire throughout the state of Utah.
Since the beginning of Utah’s language programs six years ago, the state has become a national leader in language instruction. This past year the New York Times and Time magazine ,visited to find out why representatives from twenty-two other states have turned to Utah as the model of language teaching.
The success of Utah’s language instruction began in 2008 when great minds from across the state came together to improve what was then a weak language emphasis in schools. Chinese professor and director of BYU’s Chinese Flagship Center (CFC) Dana Bourgerie and Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. initiated the Governor’s Language Summit to discuss Utah’s language education policies.