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ERIC Number: EJ871232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1083-5415
Dearborn Forms Elementary Arabic Language Program Collaboration
Tabrizi, Shereen
Learning Languages, v15 n1 p3-6 Fall 2009
The Dearborn Public Schools, with 18,300 students, is located in the Detroit urban area with the largest concentration of Arabic-speaking people in the United States. In order to prepare the students for the 21st century skills and global awareness and in response to parents' requests, the author in collaboration with the school principal and dedicated teachers established the first English-Arabic dual language program (50:50) at Iris Becker elementary (K-5) in 1994. Called Young Americans Learning Languages Actively (YALLA--meaning "Let's accelerate" in Arabic) and partially supported by a Title VII federal grant, the program lasted for over eight years led by the author and a team of resource teachers. However, due to the political climate, budget cuts, and demographic changes, where fewer students came to school speaking Arabic, the dual language program evolved into a foreign language in the elementary schools program (FLES) with the leadership of the school principal, Nada Fouani. Benefiting from the implementation of YALLA and from the Dearborn Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP), the students' academic achievement in both Arabic and English languages as well as in content areas increased significantly and Iris Becker became a high performing school. The Arabic program provides an early language learning opportunity for over one thousand participating students who have no skills in standard modern Arabic heritage language and whose Arabic language is limited to receptive/aural skills in the Arabic dialect of their heritage culture, mainly Lebanese, Yemeni, and Iraqi. The FLES program that begins in Kindergarten is aligned with the National Standards for Teaching Foreign Languages and integrates the 5C's. New older students are placed age appropriately and receive extended day and summer program services to catch up with the expected proficiency guidelines, content and language standards. (Contains 6 resources and 4 online resources.)
National Network for Early Language Learning. Winston-Salem, NC. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 7; Grade 8; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; United States