Students in Austin ISD will have Arabic, Korean and Vietnamese language programs available at select schools starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the district said in a release.
"With the addition of languages deemed critical by the Department of State, we further cement our commitment to develop socially and civically engaged students who will emerge from our schools ready to make a difference," said AISD World Languages Coordinator Tina Dong.
To launch the Arabic program, AISD has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Qatar Foundation International along with support from The University of Texas at Austin's Arabic Flagship Program.
Students at Burnet Middle School, Austin High School and International High School will have access to the Arabic courses, which offer credits that count toward graduation.
The Korean program will be offered at Travis High School Early College High School--the first school in Texas to offer Korean as a foreign language credit course. AISD says the school already has a Korean enrichment program "that features activities such as reading, writing, speaking and listening in Korean, playing cultural games, singing Korean songs, playing traditional instruments and cooking and eating Korean food."
Vietnamese will be offered at Murchison Middle School, with the course counting toward graduation. Summitt Elementary School, which feeds into Murchison, currently has a Vietnamese Dual Language Program.