First Portuguese Dual Language Immersion students in Cache County School District graduate from the program

 

DLI Portuguese graduating students

 

Congratulations to Cache Country School District's first-ever graduating Dual Language Immersion student class! Twenty-two Sky View High School students are graduating this spring after being the inaugural students in the Portuguese DLI program at Sunrise Elementary in 2013, entering the program in the second grade. After 11 years, the students are graduating fluent in a second language.

 

On April 22nd, Sky View High held a special graduation ceremony and dinner for students graduating from the DLI program. The ceremony was held to honor all the students’ hard work as they pioneered the DLI program in the district. Jana Dequadros, who taught this group of students at North Cache Middle and Sky View High, expressed her excitement for the students’ remarkable accomplishments. 

 

“I can honestly say that I am amazed at how well the DLI program works in Utah. All of my Portuguese students who are graduating after studying 11 years of Portuguese can communicate fluently in the language, both in conversation and in writing,” Dequadros explained. “These students learned not only the language but also the culture of Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly Brazil. Understanding other cultures has helped them see things from different perspectives and broaden their knowledge of the world. Teaching these kids has been one of the best professional experiences of my life.”

 

One of the students graduating from the program, Kwade Andersen, said that the DLI program has helped him develop lifelong friendships with the other students. “I have loved every minute of the DLI Portuguese program,” Andersen remarked. “It has opened up so many doors for me and helped me in countless ways. The group of friends that has also come along with this opportunity is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. We’ve been together for the last 11 years, and I’m grateful for each and every friend I’ve made along the way.”

 

Another student, Kailtlyn Cadina, also expressed her gratitude for having the opportunity to participate in the DLI program. “The Portuguese program has changed my life,” Cadina stated. “I learned so much with it and I met so many people. I love this program, and I am very grateful for everything it has done for my life.”

 

Students who participate in the DLI program have the opportunity to take the Portuguese National Examinations in World Languages test, which allows students to qualify for college credit at several higher education institutions. Out of the 22 students in the program, all 22 passed. In conjunction with the Utah State bridge program, several students are graduating with several 3000-level class credits and only need to take two more classes to earn a minor in Portuguese from USU. 

 

The DLI program offers students the unique opportunity to get immersed not only in a new language but also in a new culture. According to Megan Barker, a mother of four students in the Portuguese DLI program, the experiences students gain are invaluable. “It hasn't always been easy, but these resilient students stepped up to the challenge and have done a brilliant job of fully embracing the language, the Brazilian culture, and showing the grit and perseverance it takes to succeed,” Barker explained. “Every one of them is going to go out into the world with invaluable skills that could not have been gained any other way than being immersed in a second language in this innovative way. We cannot say enough good things about the DLI program, it truly is amazing!”

 

Click here to learn more about the DLI Programs offered in the Cache County School District.