Hemdat HaDarom College hopes to take part in a tuition-free English language teaching course.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In an attempt to remedy the problem with Israelis and their ability to speak English, the Education Ministry recently approved a tuition-free English teaching course to be implemented throughout the country and help better train future English teachers.
Starting this upcoming school year, all Israeli colleges are invited to apply for a part of the NIS 12 million budget and offer this free government-run course to native English speakers who are interested in learning how to teach English to local children.
Headed by the ministry’s teacher- training division, the program is designed to train qualified teachers to teach English from elementary school level to junior high school.
To enroll, the applicant must have bachelor’s degree which is recognized by the Education Ministry and also has to pass a 15-20 minute interview conducted by the college director in English.
The course takes two years and classes are for one and a half days a week.
One full day is dedicated to learning how to teach English while the half day is spent gaining practical experience at a local elementary or junior high school. This way, people who are interested in learning do not have to rearrange their schedules too much in order to complete the course.
One of the schools hoping to move forward with this new program is Hemdat Hadarom College in Netivot.
Prof. Shaul Krakover, president of the college, believes this program will attract students because it teaches them how to “become an English teacher in the Israeli atmosphere.”
He explained that the program gives special attention to making future English teachers aware of the “Israeli temperament.”
“Some of our classes will teach them how to have better knowledge of the characteristics of Israeli students and we [will] teach them how to teach in front of a large classroom with over 30 students,” he said.
Stressing the importance of this effort made by the government, Krakover believes “this is a project on a national scale and the Education Ministry recognizes the problem of the poor level of English so they are investing NIS 12m. to fix it.
“I believe that the minister of education should be praised for trying to improve English speaking and proficiency,” Krakover added.
Dr. Lilian Steiner, Department of Continuing Studies and Retraining director, echoed Krakover and also stressed that it’s “tailored to meet the needs and the talents of native speakers of English.
“It also prepares the students in a smooth way to deal with Israeli pupils and get to know the multicultural diversity in the Israeli classroom,” she said