A national network of resources and information about the Middle East

Teaching K-12 Arabic: Success Stories, Communities, Resources

The Arabic language today is native to more than 400 million people, and is an influential scriptural language for the more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide. It is also the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world. These facts alone should underscore the importance of teaching Arabic to our young people. Although a negative event (the 9/11 attacks) has inspired a rapid growth in Arabic language programs across the United States, teachers and students have discovered that learning Arabic introduces rich opportunities that extend well beyond national security interests. Arabic bears the fruit of cultures with deep histories of poetry, literature, music, calligraphy and the visual arts. Arabic is a language of global media and international business. It is an important historical language of math, science, and medicine. Any student of the language will testify that Arabic is a valuable tool for engaging in today’s world. While it is still a young field, teachers of K-12 Arabic have written curricula and formed professional associations, creating a valuable support network across the country. This issue details some of the efforts of these educators, providing guidance for others who perhaps are already offering Arabic, but especially for those considering starting an Arabic program. We hope you will be inspired by their success!


Download the Spring 2013 issue of Perspectives as a pdf here: Perspectives Spring 2013.

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