GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP IN AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD
Teaching Arabic to Enhance Students’ Global Perspective
One of the unique core practices of Expeditionary Learning is a focus on global awareness and world language learning. At Amana Academy, this is evidenced in our Arabic world language program, which is taught in all grades. A command of Arabic will enhance cognitive skills; broaden students’ perspectives and cultural competency skills. Arabic is one of the United Nations’ six official languages and is spoken by 400 million people around the world. Like Chinese and Russian, Arabic is considered by educators and policymakers to be a language of economic and cultural significance. Basic level fluency in Arabic will give Amana students an important edge in getting into top colleges, and in the job market of the 21st century, as a firm command of Arabic will enhance cognitive skills, and broaden students’ perspectives and cultural understanding.
Per the Georgia Department of Education Foreign Language Program’s recommendation, the model chosen by Amana Academy is the Georgia Elementary School Foreign Languages (ESFL) Model Program. The ESFL Program was developed in 1992 after years of research on the best format for teaching children a second language, in accordance with the National Standards for Language Learning in the 21st Century, which incorporates the Performance Guidelines for K-12 Learners of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL).
Among Fulton County schools, Amana Academy is unique in offering world language instruction at the elementary level, and the only one of its kind among Georgia schools offering Arabic at the elementary and middle school levels.
In Middle School, students also have the opportunity to take two years of French in addition to their Arabic language classes. This means if students complete three years of Arabic, and two years of French, they can leave Amana with two high school foreign language credits already on their transcript.