World Languages Standards

The Utah State Board of Education's proficiency approach to learning languages prepares students to be college and career ready and builds state and national language capacity to improve economic competitiveness and strengthen national defense strategies. Equally, it answers the growing need for the critical skills of language and cultural competencies for relationship building—a keystone for success in global business and diverse social environments.

It is the responsibility of the state's educational system to prepare students to compete in an increasingly international job market and to live in an increasingly diverse world. Foreign investment and international trade in Utah have grown dramatically in recent years. Foreign visitors are equally important to the state's tourism industry. All are significant and vital parts of the state economy. Demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English has potential benefits to learners. Language proficiency can be documented through a variety of nationally recognized assessments and used in portfolios for potential employment. Military careers now require officers to have second language proficiency and offer incentive pay to recruits and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) members. Additionally, candidates with world language proficiency are highly recruited for career opportunities in agriculture, health care, law enforcement, and business.

The Utah World Languages Core Standards aim to provide a more transparent, learner-friendly document that clearly describes benchmarks of what learners can do with language at various stages. Its intent is to recognize that everyone can learn a language, to motivate learning and increase achievement through goal setting and self-assessment, and to facilitate building functional language skills and interculturality. The standard, benchmarks, indicators and targets are meant to guide learning and should be shared with learners and made available to parents and other stakeholders.

- Utah State Board of Education, World Languages Standards