Did you know in Canyons District, it's possible to learn two languages at the same time and to graduate from high school fluent in both?

The start of October signals the opening of the window to apply for Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion Programs for the 2020-2021 school year. From Monday, Oct. 7 to Tuesday, Nov. 26, parents and guardians can apply online to have their children learn Spanish, French or Mandarin Chinese.

In addition, parents and guardians who have questions about the programs are invited to a Parent Information Night on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The 6-8 p.m. event will be held in the Atrium at Jordan High School, 95 E. Beetdigger Blvd. (9880 S.) in Sandy.

Please note, that students with siblings currently enrolled in a Dual-Language Immersion school must still submit applications by the Nov. 26 deadline. A lottery will be held to determine entrance into the programs if the number of applicants exceeds the 56 seats available per entering class.DLIinset

On the application, parents will be asked to list their top three preferred languages and schools. Parents will be notified of their children’s acceptance into a program, or be given a choice of possible programs, on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. All programs, except for the one at Midvale Elementary, are for students entering first grade in 2020-2021.

Midvale Elementary’s Spanish-English program operates a bit differently: It starts in kindergarten, and due to the fact that enrollment at the school is at-capacity, it’s only open to students who live inside the school’s boundaries. Spanish, however, also is offered at Alta View and Silver Mesa. French is taught at Butler Elementary and Oak Hollow. The schools offering Mandarin are Draper Elementary, Lone Peak, and Ridgecrest.

A model of bilingual instruction dating back to the 1960s, immersion programs are surfacing in classrooms around the globe as an efficient path to proficiency in a world language. Children in dual language immersion programs spend half the day learning core subjects in English and the other half learning in a target language. 

CSD’s first immersion classes opened in 2009, the same year that the District was founded. The District is now home to 19 elementary and secondary school immersion programs. More than 10 percent of CSD’s 34,000 students are now learning a world language through the program, which extends through high school where, if they pass an Advanced Placement exam, students can start taking college-level courses for early college credit.

Questions? Call the Instructional Supports Department at 801-826-5026.
Parents of middle and high school students enrolled in Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Programs have been invited to a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to learn about DLI instruction at the secondary-school level.

The 6 p.m. event will be in the Media Center at the Crescent View Building, 11150 S. Green Ridge Dr. in Sandy. The building is best accessed from 11400 S. and 300 East.

Canyons curriculum specialists will be on hand to discuss program basics, such as, course pathways and the required forms that families need to complete and sign. They’ll also be sharing data from last year’s Advanced Placement exams and reporting on a review now underway of the District’s dual-language programs.

Following the opening presentation, language specific breakouts will be held in separate rooms where DLI teachers will share and explain curriculum and resources, as well as answer any curriculum-related questions. A representative of the Mandarin Matrix Chinese curriculum will join the Chinese breakout to explain the in-classroom and at-home resources available through this tool.

More information about Canyons’ DLI program can be found online. Questions? Please call the CSD Instructional Supports Department at 801 826 5045.
Calling all bilingual 11th and 12th grade students: If you’re fluent in two or more languages, you can apply to have an official Seal of Biliteracy added to your high school transcripts.  

The Seal of Biliteracy is placed on a high school graduate's transcript by the state of Utah to certify for employers and universities that the student has demonstrated proficiency in English and at least one world language. It is evidence of a student's readiness for a career, college and for engagement as a global citizen. 

High school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the seal starting Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. The application window closes on Jan. 24, 2019.  

To apply, students must obtain a form from their school’s Counseling Center. As part of the application process, students may be required to take a language proficiency exam sometime between March 5-15. Individual schools will determine the date, time and location of testing as well as a make-up testing date.

Additional guidelines and information about the application process can be found at your high school's counseling center.

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Parents of middle and high school students enrolled in Canyons District's Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Programs have been invited to a meeting on Monday, Nov. 5 to learn about DLI instruction in middle and high school. 

The 6 p.m. event will be in the Professional Development Center of the Canyons Administration Building-East, 9361 S. 300 East. Canyons curriculum specialists will be on hand to discuss course pathways, high school bridge courses, and the intent-to-continue process that fifth- and eighth-graders will be asked to complete in order to continue in the program in middle and high school. This helps the District better anticipate scheduling and hiring needs for the upcoming year.

Questions? Please call the CSD Instructional Supports Department at 801 826 5045.

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Next year, qualifying Canyons District high school students will be able to take college-level Spanish, French and Chinese courses co-taught by University of Utah faculty.

The unique “bridge courses” will be taught in high school but are being offered for college credit as part of Utah’s Dual Language Immersion Program, which is challenging traditional models of educational delivery and bridging the gap that has separated K12 schools from institutions of higher learning. Different from concurrent enrollment offerings, BridScreen_Shot_2018-05-02_at_9.06.45_AM.pngge Courses are for upper division (3000 level) credit, and as such, give students a healthy head start on a minor or major in their language of study.

“Dual immersion is putting pressure on our system of higher education to provide something that is not the same as has been provided in the past, and it’s a healthy pressure,” says Jill Landes-Lee, who directs the Bridge Program Advanced Language Pathway for the U.’s Second Language Teaching and Research Institute.

Dual immersion students spend a good portion of their instructional days learning a world language. They start as early as kindergarten or the first grade, and by the time they reach the 10th grade, their language proficiency is comparable to that of upper division university language students in their junior or senior year. To ensure they don’t lose ground and are able to continue to grow in proficiency, the state’s institutions of higher learning have committed to offer them college-level courses while they are still in high school — which is no small feat, says Landes-Lee. “As a university, we had to ask, ‘How do we support a student as young as 15 years of age?’ We also had to contemplate how to take a semester-long university course and extend it over a full year. We’re not just throwing another course into the high school sequence. It’s not just another elective.”

Dual immersion is catching on nationally as an effective and efficient means of achieving fluency in a non-native language. But no other state has articulated a K16 model like that being pioneered in Utah, says CSD’s Secondary Dual Language Immersion Coordinator Cassandra Kapes. “We are so thankful for the Legislative funding that is making this possible, and to be working with the state’s flagship university.”

Bridge courses, created in partnership with all of Utah’s colleges and universities, are already being offered at Jordan High in Spanish. Next year, Chinese and French will be added at Corner Canyon and Alta, and by the 2019-2020 school year, all of CSD’s five traditional high schools are projected to be offering the courses.

The courses will be co-taught in the high school setting as part of students’ regular schedules by a high school faculty member and a faculty member from the U., says Kapes. In order to enroll, students must pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Culture Exam with a 3 or above in the ninth or tenth grade. Students can earn 3 credits per year, and up to nine college credits total — for just $5 per credit — giving them a jump on college and competitive edge in the global job market.

Dual immersion is coming of age, and bridge courses are the culmination of a vision for a biliterate, bilingual and bicultural Utah that was articulated years ago by former Gov. Jon Huntsman, Sen. Senator Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, and Rep. Eric Hutchings.

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