Jane Hacking and Fernando Rubio (Co-Directors, L2TReC) and Johanna Watzinger-Tharp (Senior Advisor, Office for Global Engagement), helped draft and shepherd Senate Bill 152 to successful passage during the recently concluded 2016 Utah Legislative session. Under SB 152 ongoing annual funding has been appropriated to support the Language Bridge Program, which will provide upper division college language courses for high school students who have passed the Advanced Placement exam. With Utah’s increasingly diverse population and the growth of dual immersion students and heritage learners,many students will be able to take a world language AP exam as early as ninth grade. The Bridge Program will build students’ language capacity throughout high school and prepare them to couple their foreign language proficiency with any field of study.
The Utah State Office of Education has charged L2TReC in the University of Utah’s College of Humanities with administrative oversight of the Bridge Program. Working collaboratively with the institutions of higher education in the state, L2TReC will lead the development of curriculum and assessment of the bridge courses and provide training and support for the teams of high school and university faculty who will teach them. The first Spanish Bridge Course will be taught by the University of Utah’s Department of Languages and Literature and Weber State University’s Department of Foreign Languages in Granite and Davis School District high schools during the 2016-17 academic year.