“Muito bem, Bobcats bilíngües!” Portuguese DLI students excel at challenging NEWL language assessment exam


Portuguese DLI students and teacher


This year, Cache County School District’s oldest Portuguese dual language immersion (DLI) cohort passed the NEWL test and started the University Bridge Program at Sky View High School. This is an incredible accomplishment for these 10th graders! According to Jana De Quadros, the Portuguese DLI teacher, every student who took the test passed, many of them with top scores.


De Quadros explained that the student’s success comes from hard work and the dedication of parents and teachers throughout their time in the program. “How impressive is it that a 15-year-old kid can be fluent in another language without living abroad?” De Quadros said. “This shows the result of their efforts during nine years of studying the language.” 


Cache County School District started the dual language immersion (DLI) program in 2013 with four languages: Portuguese, Chinese, French, and Spanish. Students in the DLI program begin learning the language in first grade and continue through ninth grade. In high school, students can enroll in college-level classes and have the opportunity to earn up to nine college credits. Portuguese students also have the opportunity to take the NEWL test, which is designed to evaluate reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills. 


Charity, a student in the Portuguese DLI program, is grateful for the opportunity to learn another language at such a young age. “Learning a second language is definitely an amazing experience,” she said. Other peers expressed similar emotions. Jackson, another 10th grade student, believes that learning Portuguese has helped him focus in his other classes and achieve his goals. He explained, “Being in a college-level Portuguese class really helps me manage my time and decide what I can and can’t do; it also helps me appreciate other cultures.” 


Another classmate, Peter, observed that Mrs. Quadros prepared the class well to take the exam. “She had us very prepared and she was confident that we would do well,” Peter said. “None of us knew what to expect from the exam because we were the first DLI class in our area to take any sort of language test like this.” 


Students Katie and Kwade expressed gratitude for the great experiences they have enjoyed in the DLI program. Kwade has studied in the program since second grade and says it has been one of the best experiences of his life. Katie believes that it has taught her to be more internationally aware and confident in learning new languages.


To celebrate their wonderful accomplishment, the Portuguese DLI students got together to go bowling at the Fun Park with their friends. CCSD is so proud of these 10th graders who have worked hard and learned so much throughout their time in the dual language immersion program.