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Dual Credit Students Get Immersed in Arabic

A group of dual credit high school students immersed themselves in the Arabic language and its culture during an intensive four-week CNM course this summer. The course is offered through a U.S. National Security Agency grant program that was established in 2006 as part of the National Security Language Initiative.

Sep 07, 2016

August 2011

A group of dual credit high school students immersed themselves in the Arabic language and its culture during an intensive four-week CNM course this summer. The course is offered through a U.S. National Security Agency grant program that was established in 2006 as part of the National Security Language Initiative.

The grant program, which is called StarTalk, is part of a U.S. government effort to increase significantly the number of Americans who can speak and teach foreign languages that are deemed critical for the future, like Arabic and Chinese.

Fifteen dual credit high school students took the month-long CNM course in July, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The course earned the students four college credits. In addition to language instruction, students also took field trips to educate them on Arabic culture.

"The U.S. State Department has identified (13) critical languages for Americans to learn," said Gail Grosso, a CNM instructor and the NSA grant program director at CNM. "Our hope is that these students will become fluent in Arabic. There is also a need for more Arabic teachers, so we're also hoping to teach people how to teach the language."

Students visited the Dar al Islam education center and mosque in Abiquiu, they toured the University of New Mexico culinary kitchens to learn about traditional Arabic cuisine, and they learned about Arabic dance and music, among other activities.

This was the first time that CNM offered this Arabic immersion course. CNM hopes to offer it again next summer for college freshman and high school dual credit students.

For more information on the Arabic immersion course, call (505) 224-5617.

CNM is also offering a traditional Arabic language course in the 2011 fall term.