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Last modified: November 14, 2023

Dual Language Immersion

The dual language immersion program offered in Provo City School District is available in Mandarin Chinese, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Students begin in first grade and continue the program through middle school and high school. Students spend half of their school day learning in the target language and the other half learning in English.

Why Immersion?

teacher teaching

More than 40 years of research consistently documents the power of immersion programs to help students attain advanced levels of target language proficiency. No other type of instruction, short of living in a target language environment, is as successful.

Studies consistently show that exposing a student to another language early in his or her education increases memory and concentration, problem-solving skills, and provides a greater understanding of their native language. Fortunately, language immersion is also the least expensive way to deliver target language instruction.

Program Objectives

  • Provide a rich, academic environment in both the native and target languages
  • Maximize students’ target language proficiency
  • Develop students’ ability to work successfully in multiple cultural settings
  • Offer a culturally diverse experience for the entire school community

Proven Benefits

  • Students achieve advanced proficiency in the immersion language
  • Immersion students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests of English and math administered in English.
  • Immersion students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.
  • Immersion students are more aware of and show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of other people.
  • Immersion students are better prepared for the global community and job markets where an additional language is an asset

Parent Responsibilities

  • Commit to long–term participation in the immersion program throughout elementary, middle, and high school
  • Commit to regular and punctual student school attendance
  • Develop an understanding of immersion education
  • Read in English for 20 minutes daily
  • Encourage the use of the target language outside of school
  • Provide community support and, when possible, volunteer
  • Enjoy the challenges; celebrate the results

What to Expect in a Dual Language Immersion Program

Dual language immersion offers a valuable bilingual experience for young learners when their minds are developmentally best able to acquire a second language. Instruction is divided between two high quality, creative classrooms: one in English and one in the target language. Students enjoy the advantage of two caring, qualified teachers, who collaborate and share responsibility for teaching grade-level curriculum according to standards set by the Utah State Office of Education.

The target language teacher speaks only in the target language and communicates using a range of engaging strategies including pictures, songs, games, body language, expressions, pantomime, drama, etc. Children at this age are adept at picking up language in meaningful contexts. After a brief period at the beginning of the year, students too will speak only the target language during that half of the day.

Who Can Participate

The immersion program seeks to enroll students of varying backgrounds and all ability levels. Applications are open to all students entering first grade.

How to Enroll

Families with incoming first graders should submit a Dual Language Immersion Application online between November 15 and the first Friday in February. The application link can be found at the top of this page. Students who live outside the boundary will be prompted to fill out the Open Enrollment Application that is within the DLI application. If you have questions, call us at (801) 374-4838. Please note that students with siblings currently in dual language immersion are still required to submit an application.

The following schools will be accepting applications for first-grade students into the dual language immersion program:

Language School
Chinese Wasatch Elementary 1080 N. 900 E. Provo, UT 84601 Phone: (801) 374-4910 
French Edgemont Elementary 566 E. 3650 N. Provo, UT 84604 Phone: (801) 221-9984 
Spanish Canyon Crest Elementary 4664 N. Canyon Rd. Provo, UT 84604 Phone: (801) 221-9873 
Spanish Timpanogos Elementary 449 N. 500 W. Provo, UT 84601 Phone: (801) 374-4955 
Portuguese Lakeview Elementary 2899 W. 1390 N. Provo, UT 84601 Phone: (801) 374-4990