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MOFET International

English as a Medium of Instruction in Israeli Academic Institutions: A Global Reality or a Local Challenge?

ITEC Webinar

Date: Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 19:00 – 20:30
Time: 7 pm IST, 12 pm EST, 5 pm GMT (more)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Registration: closed
Recording: click here
Presentation: click here​

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Traditionally the language of instruction in academic institutions worldwide has usually been the local language(s). In the last decade, however, an overwhelmingly growing number of academic courses are being taught in English as the medium of instruction in non-English speaking environments, instead of the local tongue. A similar trend can also be observed in Israel where the move towards using English as the medium of instruction in academic institutions is on the rise.
The presentation will discuss the factors underlying this phenomenon, its gains and costs, as well as specific dilemmas relevant to the Israeli multilingual scene with its two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.


Dr. Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt
Dr. Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt currently serves as the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel-Aviv, Israel. She was formerly the head of the English Department, the head of the research and evaluation unit at the college and head of the re-training program. Her main areas of research are second language education (language assessment and evaluation, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics and language policy) and teacher education (alternative programs, teacher preparation, teacher supply and demand). She is the co-editor of a recently published book (2014), "Issues in language teaching in Israel" (with Ofra Inbar-Lourie). 

Prof. Ofra Inbar-Lourie
Prof. Ofra Inbar-Lourie lectures at the Language Education program in the School of Education at Tel-Aviv University where she also heads the Unit for Teacher Education. She served as the head of the English department at Beit Berl Teachers' College and as an inspector of English for the Israeli Ministry of Education.  She is involved in international and local language policy research issues, particularly in the use of English as a medium of instruction in higher education, in issues concerning language teachers' education, curriculum programs and language assessment, specifically in the area of language assessment. She is the co-editor of two recently published books (2014),”Challenges for language education and policy: Making space for people" (with Bernard Spolsky and Michal Tannenbaum), and "Issues in language teaching in Israel" (with Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt).


© Mofet International. The Mofet Institute. 2015