Bennett Announces New English Program

Education Minister Naftali Bennett. (Avi Dishi/Flash90)

“We want to see school graduates capable of having a full and intelligent conversation anywhere in the world,” Bennett said at a press conference on Wednesday. “An Israeli child must be equipped with spoken English. It is a basic requirement in high-tech.”

More specifically, the goal is to see the number of high-school graduates with high or advanced levels of English increase from the current 62 percent to 70 percent, while reducing the rate of those who fail from 20 percent to 15 percent.

The program will be introduced into primary schools, junior high schools, and high schools, and will focus on three target areas: conversational English to expand future work opportunities; more advanced English for academic work; and improving the quality of instruction.

Education Ministry director-general Shmuel Abuav said that “the national program brings an innovative pedagogic method, in that it includes many components that were not previously part of the school’s teaching system.

“The components include focusing on the development of new language skills that deal with oral discourse, which will be integrated into all stages of education from elementary to high school. In order to assimilate the skills, we will ensure that at the elementary level, students will have a dialogue in English by reading books that we will acquire and introduce into the classroom, and students will share their personal experiences with their classmates of their reading experiences while the entire conversation takes place in English,” Abuav said.