Edmonton·Video

Arabic bilingual program to start at 4th school

Edmonton Public Schools is expanding its popular Arabic bilingual program to a fourth school this September
Calder School will be the city's fourth to teach in Arabic, reports Brandy Yanchyk 1:55

Edmonton Public Schools is expanding its popular Arabic bilingual program to a fourth school this September.

Students at Calder Elementary School in north Edmonton will join more than 1,100 students already taking Arabic classes in the city.  

Norman Sieweke, second languages consultant for Edmonton Public Schools, says the demand for bilingual programming is growing.

"Almost 2,000 students are in Chinese bilingual programming in Edmonton public schools and then Arabic is the second-largest," he said.

The first Arabic bilingual program was launched at Glengarry School more than 25 years ago.

Yazan Haymour from the Canadian Arab Friendship Association helped establish those programs and he would like to see even more.

"There's lots of families they move [to] Canada, actually from Ontario, from different provinces, to Edmonton because of the Arabic bilingual program," he said. "Also there is lots of newcomers."

Edmonton Public Schools offers bilingual programs for seven different languages: Mandarin Chinese, German, Hebrew, Spanish, Ukrainian and American Sign Language.

The district also offers French immersion programs.