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Utah immersion program the envy of the nation

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 3:38 AM
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1 mom liked this
Utah immersion program the envy of the nation
by Nadine Wimmer • Dec 03 - 10:28pm
A A A (resize font)
SALT LAKE CITY - Thousands of Utah students have something directly in common with one of the country's most famous kids -- Suri Cruise.
Suri - daughter of actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes - attends Avenues: The World School in New York City. Her tuition is $40,000 a year. Class size: 17.

Then there's Cierra, daughter of Dave and Linda. She attends Spring Lane Elementary School in Sandy. Tuition: free, if you don't count taxes. There are about 25 kids in her class.

Strip away location and tuition costs, and Suri and Cierra are receiving close to the same education. In fact, they're learning from the same program that was developed here in Utah. Avenues is the new school many rich and famous are choosing for its dual-immersion language program. Kids learn half the day in a new language and half in English.

It is the same program spreading like wildfire in Utah schools. Both are designed by educator Myriam Met.

"For about $40,000 less out of your pocket," Met said. "That's a plus for sure."

While Suri may steal the magazine headlines, Utah actually has the celebrity status when it comes to language programs in the U.S.

"Everybody has Utah on their lips when they talk about immersion," Met said.

Wyoming was so worried about "losing jobs to Utah" that the school board voted this fall to move full-speed ahead to get a similar dual-immersion program. The Harvard school that trains teachers asked Utahns to address their students on dual immersion.

Most recently, the Spanish Embassy sent a delegation to Utah to bestow a prestigious designation on Alta View Elementary. These budding, bilingual students were the real stars of the show.

Educators agree, while the recognition is exciting, the real success is how programs like these are preparing young Utahns for the work force of the future.

"Right now with the global world and the global economy, I don't see how people can be really successful without a second language," said Maria Contreras, a 5th grade Spanish immersion teacher.

"This is a gift that Utah is giving its children," said Met. "A gift that you really can't get any other time or any other way."

New state test data shows students are not only holding their own but actually scoring a little higher in core subjects than kids not learning a second language.
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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 3:38 AM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Gold Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 3:59 AM

DD does her own immersion program by watching dvds in english and then if they have the spanish option she watches them in spanish.  She isnt so fond of french though.   It is nice to see free public schools doing immersion rather than the pricey private ones in our area.

LilyBeansMom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:25 AM
Very cool!
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coolmommy2x
by Gold Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:28 AM
Great program!
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alexsmomaubrys2
by Silver Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Sounds like a great program. We do something like that at home, the kids can speak a little in French and Spanish, we are working on a little of German and ASL.


janitablue
by Janita on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:18 AM

confused I am little confused. The article is very impress it wonderful that students are being exposed to different languages but how is it different from a normal public that teach french or Spanish to students. What is so special beside the fact that it is the same program that being taught to Suri Cruise in prestige school.


arthistmom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Our older son attends a language immersion program at his school, which is a foreign language magnet (offering Spanish, German, Italian, and French). The Utah program is not necessarily unique in that it can be found in other states as well. Some MN public schools offer it and so does some districts in CA, where we are.

natesmom1228
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Thanks

arthistmom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM
1 mom liked this

The difference is the immersion model that the program uses (if it's the same as our son's school). That is, 90% of the kids' instructional day is conducted in the target language, 10% in English. So the students are "immersed" and learning the curriculum in the target language. The proportion changes as they go up in grades, becoming 50/50 by 5th grade.

Quoting janitablue:

confused I am little confused. The article is very impress it wonderful that students are being exposed to different languages but how is it different from a normal public that teach french or Spanish to students. What is so special beside the fact that it is the same program that being taught to Suri Cruise in prestige school.


little.worthen
by Tess on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:59 PM
1 mom liked this

it's a different type of program, a little more in depth and its taught in elementary school. most public schools dont start teaching french and spanish until jr high or high school.

Quoting janitablue:

confused I am little confused. The article is very impress it wonderful that students are being exposed to different languages but how is it different from a normal public that teach french or Spanish to students. What is so special beside the fact that it is the same program that being taught to Suri Cruise in prestige school.



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Barabell
by Barbara on Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:56 PM
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My son attends an immersion school. He's bilingual.

Immersion schools have been around in our state for a long time. There are a lot of immersion languages to choose from in our state. We have both full immersion and dual immersion schools within our city--both offered charter and public magnet schools.

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