Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Utah acing it on language instruction


I joke that we have two Japanese states--Utah and Iowa.

But I digress.

One of these, Utah, is more than a boring flyover--they are teaching languages like mad!

Jack Healy, NYT, Apr 19, 2013, says kids there pass notes in Mandarin.

Maybe this is because Mormons span the globe on their missions. But leaders there also say it's the road to the world marketplace and the key to getting foreign companies to locate in the state. 

Half of Utah's schools teach half a day in English, half in another language.

French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin are offered. German is coming. And maybe Arabic.

Regular studies like math are taught in the language. At first, there is a lot of gesturing, then kids "get it."

My daughter took a total immersion German class in DC one summer vacation--she does not remember a lot of it, but it was a neat idea.

Yay, Utah!

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