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8 Mandarin immersion programs in Utah will shut without funding

March 8, 2012

Dual-Immersion Funding Threatened

by Stephen Dark

POSTED // 2012-03-06 –

Twenty-three schools in Utah are waiting to see today or tomorrow if their dual-immersion language programs will be lost.

Without at least $800,000, schools across Utah face losing courses for elementary students that provide teaching for half a day in English and half a day in another language. Five languages are taught as part of the various dual-immersion programs throughout the state, principally Spanish and Mandarin.

Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, chair of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, put out a statement late last night criticizing the failure of the Executive Appropriations Subcommittee to not prioritize Utah’s dual-immersion program. “A thousand first-grade students will be denied a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in Utah’s dual-immersion program and lose the great opportunity of a bilingual education.”

Dual-immersion classes, the statement noted, if begun in the first grade, not only greatly assist foreign language acquisition, but also have been shown to improve students’ “performance in other core subjects over their non-immersion peers.

Please read more here.

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