Michigan teachers who want to be certified to teach the Arabic language will get the opportunity beginning this fall.
Michigan State University will offer an Arabic endorsement and master's degree program for K-12 teachers starting in the fall.
Jeff Bale is an assistant professor at MSU. He says the program responds to a growing need for Arabic-speaking teachers.
Bale says the program is not without controversy.
We have to have open conversations, with the public and our students, about how to address those issues and how to reframe Arab-American education as understanding one of the world's primary languages," Bale says. "Our program is called a world languages program, versus a foreign languages program. And Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world."
Bale says most of the courses can be taken online.
Southeast Michigan has the largest Arab-American population in the United States.