PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Portland’s Deering High School is offering an Arabic language class this fall, believed to be the first of its kind at a public high school in Maine.
Abdullahi Ahmed, an earth sciences teacher at the school for nearly a decade, is teaching the class with about 10 students. He says several students already speak Arabic, while others have no experience with the language.
Ahmed tells the Portland Press Herald, that learning any foreign language helps students better compete in a global economy, while also exposing them to new cultures and traditions.
Deering is also offering Mandarin Chinese this fall through an arrangement with the University of Southern Maine.
Portland public schools have more than 50 students who speak Arabic as their primary language at home.