Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Making Learning Arabic More Difficult than It Should Be

Surely we can all agree that learning a major world language like Arabic should be something we want to encourage our children to do--but we might pause a bit when we mandate it as one school district has reportedly done recently to great national outcry.

Now the right wing conspiracy theorists that believe there is some kind of federal government inspired plot will be all over this story. It may well be the fault of an over hasty school district that thought they could apply for a grant where they failed to gain approval of the parents ahead of time and just decided to submit and see what happened. The feds might have checked too before the grant was announced to ensure that they did have the approval of the parents. Cultural change is not easy to deal with and if it comes too fast and without much warning as it seems to have done in this Texas school district the results can be less than ideal. Hopefully the situation can be salvaged with some calming talk and ways that the exposure to Arabic langauge is not threatning but empowering.
It is a story worth following.

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