If she didn’t live in Dearborn, Emily Schloff might not have had the opportunity to study Arabic.

Unlike Spanish and French, it’s not widely taught. And even though it is an elective offered in schools in Dearborn, which has one of the largest Arab-American communities in the country, plenty of people go through life there without knowing the language.

But for 16-year-old Emily, whose family is of German and English descent, taking Arabic has been beneficial.

“It’s kind of cool to go through different parts of Dearborn and be able to read the signs,” she said.

President George W. Bush would like a lot more students to follow her example.

That’s why Michigan is on target to receive an annual grant of about $700,000 for up to 16 years to pay teacher salaries and other costs of teaching Arabic to students in grades K-12 and college, a federal official said Monday.


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