“Providing a World of Opportunities for Students”: Chantal Thompson’s Work with Dual Language Immersion Programs

Utah has become a model for dual language immersion programs around the country—and around the world. The state of Utah currently offers 38 immersion programs in Chinese, 19 in French, 2 in German, 6 in Portuguese, and 73 in Spanish, for a total of 138 schools participating in dual language immersion. And why are these programs so successful? One of the main reasons is that learning targets are defined in terms of proficiency in the language, and reading, listening, writing and speaking proficiency is assessed on a regular basis.

As an ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) certified tester and trainer in proficiency assessment and proficiency-based instruction, Chantal Thompson has been working with the USOE (Utah State Office of Education) since the early days of the dual immersion programs, defining learning targets, designing curricula, training teachers, and conducting oral proficiency interviews with a representative sample of learners from each grade at the end of each school year.

In addition to her work with the dual immersion program, Professor Thompson has been working for many years with school districts throughout the United States, conducting workshops to help world language teachers and administrators with proficiency-based curriculum design and instructional strategies. As a keynote speaker at state conferences from Oregon to Massachusetts, Professor Thompson has been promoting the cause of proficiency-based education in the foreign language classroom, with topics such as “Empowering Students to Communicate” or “Higher-Order Learning and Proficiency.”

Click here for more information on Utah’s dual language immersion programs.

See original photo here.

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