“If Kurdish is taught in schools, students will have an opportunity to seek a career in international relations and can work at diplomatic offices here in the United States, such as in the United Nations,” Hawrami told Kurdistan 24.
He also said the Kurdish courses would help young Kurds learn about their culture and language and contribute to the greater Kurdish communities around the world.
According to Jill Petty, Coordinator for English Language Arts and World Languages for metro schools, students who learn in their native languages can become more literate in other languages.
“Research has shown that when a student is literate in his or her own native language, it helps them become literate in a new language faster, such as English,” Petty told Nashville Public Radio.
“That would actually help them in the long run.”
Hawrami told Kurdistan 24 that the pre-approved proposal had been well-received from Kurds as well as Americans.
“Americans want to learn Kurdish, and we want to teach Americans about our culture and our language,” he said.
“We are all Americans.
We are here [in the US], and we are here to stay.
We want to exercise our right to learn and practice our language.
We want to be able to vote and contribute to American society through our language.”
The Kurdish community director said there are plans to offer a Kurdish language course at Nashville State Community College in the summer in cooperation with Indiana State University, which offers its students a Kurdish course.
Hawrami said if the decision is approved, there will be opportunities for all Kurdish dialects to be available to students.
“After a decision is made, the Kurdish community will meet to decide which dialects to teach depending on the number of students.
But there are opportunities for all dialects.”
A vote will be held at 5 p.m.
local time (2 a.m.
Erbil time) on Tuesday.
If the school board clears the proposal, it will go to Tennessee state for approval.
If approved, individual schools will decide whether they have enough students interested before they offer the classes.