While English and French remain the preferred language for many students and parents in the Arabic-reading world, the CBC reported yesterday that Arabic has become “the language of choice” for many Ottawa, Canada-area elementary school students.
About half of the 5,000 students enrolled in the city’s foreign language classes are taking Arabic, the news broadcaster reported. Enrollment in Arabic classes far outranks that of the next two most popular languages: Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Apparently, Arabic is the third-most common first language in Canada’s capital, after English and French.
An 11-year-old non-Arab gave the CBC this charming reason for wanting to learn the language:
Most of my friends speak Arabic and I wanted to speak Arabic to them because they would be more comfortable speaking Arabic.
If you’re in Canada:
Texas-based Syraj.Com also ships to Canada, and carries many of the wonderful books from Jordan-based Al-Salwa. Also, if you’re a reader of this site, Syraj.Com offers a 10% all Syraj products. Just enter the coupon code kutubkidssave10 at checkout and the discount will apply.
It looks like the Ottawa Public Library does have Arabic story times for children. If you’re interested, call 613-668-5594 or send an email to lmansouri -at – lassa.ca. However, there’s no need to register; just show up.
It doesn’t look the Ottawa system has too many of the great new Arabic children’s books (only 3 Arabic children’s books acquired in the last 180 days), but they do have Arabic children’s literature.