The government has allocated 12 million (about £2.5M) Israeli shekels to the programme, and invited colleges to apply for funding.
Designed to prepare teachers to teach English in the Israeli school system, the two-year course will require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree and pass an interview in English.
Shaul Krakover, president of one of the colleges hoping to start the programme told the Jerusalem Post the course will teach students how to ‘become an English teacher in the Israeli atmosphere.’ Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, although English is widely spoken and required by universities as a prerequisite for admission.
Professor Krakover also stressed the importance of the government’s move to train English teachers as a sign that ‘the education ministry recognizes the problem of the poor level of English’. The ministry is also set to launch a programme dubbed ‘Give me five’, website haaretz.com reports. With the aim of improving students’ English language proficiency, it will increase the English language tuition hours for secondary students, offer 7th-graders conversation classes and hire more teachers, including teaching assistants.
Pic courtesy: By The Israel Project Flickr HUJI Election Debate