Dear Mr. Bennett,
It's me – Gaila Cohen Morrison from A.H.A.V.A. Last week I opened up the topic of what changes the Ministry of Education should make to ensure that every child in Israel successfully learns English. Besides smaller classes, we must start younger! Teaching a child who is nine years old is too late. 3rd graders are way past the critical age for learning a foreign language.
The right time to expose children to a second language is at the age of 3, when they are fluent in their first language. Children could be exposed to English for 2 hours a day in preschool. Imagine the ease of learning if children learn colors while choosing legos or familiarize themselves with animals and clothing while using finger play. What a painless way to expand their vocabulary and learn grammar! By the time they reach elementary school, English classes need only focus on literacy, and ultimately Literature and highly technical language, completely preparing them for higher studies.
I'll be back next week with more suggestions until this simple, yet radical, change can be implemented.