In the fall of 2014, Tooele County School District launched five Dual Language Immersion programs in first-grade classes at five elementary schools. The languages included: French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
In 2016 Russian was added to the list of languages offered making TCSD the only school district in Utah to provide all six DLI languages. Six years later, there are now eight schools that have a Dual Language Immersion program.
As the original group of DLI students transitions into junior high next year, they will see a different format than what they experienced in elementary school.
Elementary students in DLI learn half of the day in the English language and the other half in the target language. This is called the 50/50 teaching model.
Instead of their school day following a 50/50 teaching model, junior high students will only have two classes scheduled in their target language. One class will focus on the language itself while the other will focus on the history, culture, and media of those who predominately speak the language.
To help prepare students, staff and parents DLI director Brandee Mau and TCSD Curriculum director Renee Milne have held parent meetings and teacher trainings throughout the year to explain the changes students will see at the secondary level. Junior high and high school principals have also visited schools with DLI programs in the Salt Lake area that have already transitioned students from elementary to junior high.
The junior high classes are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Culture Exam they can take in 9th or 10th grade.
With a passing score on the AP exam, students can start earning college credit in the Bridge Program. The Bridge Program offers an advanced language pathway for high school students, “bridging” the gap between completion of the exam and higher education.
For more information about the DLI programs in Tooele County School District visit: https://www.tooeleschools.org/apps/pages/DLI