AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some Austin ISD students will have the opportunity to learn Arabic as part of their studies as the district launches a new Arabic Language and culture program next school year.
AISD received a $100,000 grant from Qatar Foundation International to help launch the program which will be one of three new optional language programs being offered in Austin ISD schools next year.
Arabic will be taught at Burnet Middle School, Austin and International high schools through a partnership with the University of Texas at Austin’s Arabic Flagship Program.
According to the announcement from Austin ISD, Burnet Middle was selected because it offers a focus on “College and Careers in a Global Society.” Austin High also offers a curriculum with an international focus. International High School, which shares a campus with Eastside Memorial High School, is home to students from multiple countries as they transition to public education in the United States.
Korean will be taught at Travis High School Early College High School while Vietnamese will be offered at Murchison Middle School.
The new languages come to AISD as the district works to diversify its offerings as it prepares students to work in a globalized world.
“As we continue toward globalization, it is paramount that we prepare our students for college, career and life by equipping them with the skills needed to authentically interact with individuals from diverse cultures,” said AISD World Languages Coordinator Tina Dong. “Being able to communicate in the language of native speakers leads to deeper understanding of multiple perspectives and creates much-needed empathy in the world.”
The Qatar Foundation International is a U.S.-based member of the Non-profit Qatar Foundation which receives some of its funding from the Qatari government.