High school students will soon have to meet world language requirements for graduation if some state legislators have their way.
In Utah, a bill currently before the legislature would require students to be proficient in a world language before graduation. They would receive a special “bi-literacy” diploma.
According to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Howard Stephenson, Utah is a leader in Dual immersion education. Students in dual immersion programs speak a second language for half the day, beginning in Kindergarten.
“If we’re serious about being a world language state, I think we need to finally step up to that,” he said.
However, members of the state school board question whether graduation requirements should be set by lawmakers. “We would have to at least double the number of foreign language teachers,” said Laura Belmap, a member of the state school board. “What are we going to have to give up to provide that?”