This is a summary in outline form of the English language teaching situation in Israel. In considering the situation of English in Israel, it is essential to also consider the unique linguistic and cultural situation of the country. The population of Israel comprises people of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and includes native speakers of English, native speakers of Hebrew, and persons for whom both languages must be learned as second or third languages. An additional problem is the fact that the native English-speaking Israelis represent a wide range of varieties of English. Socially, English functions as an unofficial second language. In the school system, English is taught from Class 5 on, sometimes earlier. The emphasis is on oral-aural and reading skills, for international communication. All Israeli universities have English departments and all students take a compulsory English language course. The Bagrut (matriculation) exam stresses communicative competence. Teacher standards are generally high but vary. Teacher training is in the form of 3-year college courses, or 1-year university education department courses for graduates in English. Inservice training is provided by the English Inspectorate. English literature is popular and widely read, even more than Hebrew literature. A reading program for advanced English classes completes the profile. (AM)
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British Council, London (England). English-Teaching Information Centre.