Scottsdale Community College will offer language courses in Arabic for the first time this fall, despite low enrollment numbers at the start of the semester.
So far, only eight students have signed up for Arabic 101, and the college had to cancel a more advanced class that only had three students.
But the language department has decided to nurture the courses and continue to spread the word, said Foreign Language Department chairwoman Kirby Chadwick.
“Because of what’s happening in the world, we have to keep up with whatever language is most needed,” Chadwick said.
In past years, the department has seen periodic interest in German, Japanese and Spanish.
“Spanish draws a lot of students,” Chadwick said. “We try to have the languages the world needs.”
Last spring, the college decided to offer Mandarin and saw the classes fill up, Chadwick said.
The Arabic courses were added late in the year, so it’s possible many students hadn’t heard about them, Chadwick said, but the college is trying to promote the classes, which will meet on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.
“Being a community college we are able to respond to the community needs faster than the university can put in a class,” she said. “If the community wants the class, we try to do that.”
According to the Arabic culture Web site, www.albab.com, Arabic ranks sixth among the most prevalent languages of the world, with 186 million native speakers.
The class will be taught by Sarah Risha, a native of Kuwait, who received her bachelor’s degree in English from Kuwait University and her master’s in Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University.
For information, visit www.scottsdalecc.edu.