Dear Mr. Bennett,
Hi again from me – Gaila Cohen Morrison from A.H.A.V.A. Last week I mentioned the ultimate change the Ministry of Education should make to ensure every child in Israel knows English. However, until those lucky preschoolers get to first grade we have to enable other children to acquire English easily.
The solution is twofold. More hours from an earlier age.
Our children need more than 2-4 hours a week to learn the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc. of another language. Furthermore, we are doing it backwards. Begin with 6 hours a week in elementary school where they gain skills, and then reduce English to 2-3 hours a week from junior high and up for 'maintenance'.
Another issue is a scheduling one. Too often the measly two weekly hours are double hours. Yes they are getting two hours a week but it might as well be one lesson for all the forgetting that happens between 3:30 pm Wednesday and 2:00 the following Wednesday! Hours should be spread out through the week so as to have frequent exposure to this foreign language. Children forget what they have learned if subsequent lessons are too far apart. Better to have half an hour a day every day of the week than three hours in one day.
And finally demand that the English lesson hours are quality hours. It’s no wonder children don't learn anything when their miserly two hours a week are the last two hours on a Wednesday afternoon.
Till next week,