PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Public Schools is looking to expand its Dual Language Immersion programs.
They held a meeting Thursday night to gauge the interest in Arabic.
This program would be the first of its kind in Oregon and would launch in September.
Students would spend half the day learning in Arabic and half in English.
The district says there are benefits for native English speakers to become bilingual as well as for students who can continue to learn in their first language.
“The number one factor or predictor of their academic success is the development of their first language. So, if we can take that linguistic asset that they bring to school and raise it as high as possible, we know that will transfer into their academic and English language success,” said Michael Bacon, director of dual language at Portland Public Schools.
PPS also has Dual Language Immersion programs in Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese.