Herzog College aims to improve English skills in Israel

The Ministry of Education has been working for many years to improve the quality of English education in our schools, and Herzog College is involved in this important mission.

Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett, former Minister of Education In August 2017, they first announced plans to improve their English language skills. His goals were to shift the focus of English language lessons to grammar, increasing the number of four- or five-grade matriculation students. Courses, and hiring high-quality English teachers, including native English speakers.
As the son of an American immigrant who has worked in hi-tech for many years, Bennett understands the importance of the English language to Israel’s nation-building success. Access to the world economy is based on efficient and flawless English. It is not enough to ask their children for a higher level of English education. Every Israeli child should be empowered in their schools to speak and write English fluently. Schools in the Arab world, the religious-Zionist, and the most orthodox, must also play their part.

Herzog College at Gush et ion is helping to improve the quality of English education in Israel, especially in the religious field. Jewish study teachers are often required to teach English, although they do not have formal training in foreign languages. Since the English teaching profession generally attracts more women than men, we have identified the need to train male religious teachers in Shihiva high schools to teach English. Joshua Ducker is one of our graduates, currently teaching at Shivavt Nev Schmidt in Ephrata. He has taught all levels there over the years, and is currently teaching English-speaking students in grades 9 and 11 as well as in the 12th grade with a five-point matrix class. He says: “My studies in Herzog gave me the background needed to teach high school English, including excellent language and literature subjects. The curriculum provided the tools I needed to cope with high school at all levels.

British Herzog College graduates enter the profession with a strong sense of mission. Their undergraduate education helps students shape the religious way of life of a teacher in line with Western culture and open literature. They graduate with a wide range of 21st century skills that will enable them to develop critical thinking and use a wide range of edge teaching tools in their education. In the face of the epidemic, they have learned how to make the most of digital devices. Courses are partly through distance learning and partly in person at Herzog’s two campuses: the men’s program at Alon Schwartz and the women’s program at Magdalena Oz. Transportation is provided from many cities around Israel, and instructional sessions are arranged for each student close to home. By the end of their degree, students will leave the college with a developmental mindset, become creative and creative classroom teachers, and pass on their English needs to the next generation of Israeli students.

The English class is proud of the program, which ensures that every student receives professional advice from a pedagogical counselor and teacher counselor. We work hard to link the program of instruction to academic courses to encourage continuous and lively discussion between academic concepts and practice.

Our latest innovation is a course in community facilitation by training students to become team coordinators in vocational education communities. There are dozens of English teacher vocational communities throughout Israel and they have been very successful in furthering professional development. We want our students to engage in their own careers throughout their careers, and as trained team coordinators they contribute to the enrichment of their local partners and the teaching profession in Israel.

English-speaking immigrants to Israel have long lamented the poor grades of English in many schools, but we believe the situation is improving. We are inviting indigenous English speakers – both immigrants and their children – and to be part of the development of English. Herzog College now offers English as a two-level course, allowing students to train in two subjects. By the end of 2022, we will be offering a master’s degree that will enable students to excel in English.

Naturally, our students need good Hebrew, but we can invest even more time and energy in educating tomorrow’s English teachers with advanced language skills, strong teaching skills, and a better understanding of literature and languages. At the same time, we invite Native English speakers who have already earned a bachelor’s degree to join our English teaching profession within two years of our fast track retraining. This is an exciting opportunity for the children of Israel to contribute to the active participation of the international community, to the success of our country and to the development of a better future for all English-speakers.

The author is the chair of the English department at Herzog College in Gush Zion, where Alia and her family moved to Northern Ireland in 1979.

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