Dear Mr. Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education, My name is Gaila Cohen Morrison. I made Aliyah 36 years ago and have been a teacher for over 40 years. For over 17 years I have run a non-profit called A.H.A.V.A. English Learned in a Natural Method, dedicated to promoting English literacy in Israel.
I agree with you that the state of English learning in this country needs a lot of improvement. Children definitely need to learn how to speak, read and understand English fluently. I'd like to share with you a few things I've learned over the years:
Like you have said, reading is important. Here are some easy steps that encourage children to read:
An English library at every school. I'm glad that you have budgeted for a library at every school. That's exactly what they need. Not just random book that are donated. Good, quality books that a professional librarian/ English teacher has carefully chosen. Books need to be appropriate for the students' level.
And Mr. Bennett – it's not enough that the library exists. One must make sure that the students visit and use the library. Again, a professional librarian / English teacher, who is familiar with the books (that means they have read each and every one of them) should guide the students choosing books. Finally, please let them take these books home to read and reread at their leisure.
And how to get them to read? This letter is long enough. I'll share more with you on that in my next letter.