Over 120 Languages Spoken in Nashville Schools; Spanish, Arabic Rank Highest After English

Victor Skinner, EAGnews, November 16, 2015

Recently released data from the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools shows about a third of the district’s 85,000 student population does not speak English as a first language.

Of those 25,300 students, more than 12,300 require special services, primarily in elementary schools, The Tennessean reports.

The majority of Nashville students learning English speak Spanish at home, and Arabic speakers comprise the second largest group.

According to statistics provided to the Tennessean by the district, a total of 120 different languages are spoken in Metro schools, with the most popular being Spanish, Arabic, Kurdish, Somali, Vietnamese, Burmese, Napali, Amharic, Chinese and Karen.

Spanish speaking students are by far the largest group with 16,896 students, while Arabic and Kurdish round out the top three at 3,435 and 1,181, respectively.

Data shows the number of Metro students requiring special services to learn English has been on the rise, from 8,751 in the 2011-12 school year to 12,329 in 2015-16.

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