Sunday, June 17, 2007

Yes. Thank you. Finally.

Kindergarten through 4th-graders at Mid-Prairie Elementary School in Kalona, Iowa (Iowa!) will have the chance to learn Arabic after receiving a federal three-year grant for a language program (full article).

Cary and his classmates are in one of the classes of kindergarten through fifth-grade students who have started to receive lessons in the language this past month. While studies show the benefits of learning a second language at a young age, why Arabic?

Because of the Middle East, increasingly important in world affairs and where Arabic predominantly is spoken, said Susie Swartzendruber, Kalona Elementary's Arabic program coordinator.

“I just feel like this is our way to help our students start looking at that part of the world in a different way,” Swartzendruber said. “I think this is a great way to build understanding.”

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