‘Kosher English’ lessons for Israel’s ultra orthodox

Source: Guardian Weekly TEFL update: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/sep/18/elt-diary-september?CMP=EMCGUWEML335

This news report has been ‘lifted’ from the Guardian Weekly TEFL update (link above). Hats off to the Jerusalem Post Group for starting ‘Kosher English’. May be we should have ‘Halal English?’ – Just a thought.  Many could identify with the idea stated by a member of the editorial team i.e. “The challenge is not only to keep the principles of Halacha, such as modesty and avoid lashon hara[slanderous talk], but also to strengthen faith in Hashem and learn English at the same time.”

Article below:

Israel’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community is being offered a new way to learn English: a weekly magazine written in simplified English with Hebrew glossaries and overseen by a religious committee of rabbis and Jewish educators.

The magazine, called Kosher English, is published by the Jerusalem Post Group, and contains local and international news stories as well as articles specially for the ultra-orthodox community.

The editorial team are members of the haredi community. The editor, Tami Kalish, told the Jerusalem Post: “The idea was to create a newspaper for haredim in easy English. The challenge is not only to keep the principles of Halacha, such as modesty and avoid lashon hara[slanderous talk], but also to strengthen faith in Hashem and learn English at the same time.”

Early editions of the magazine have been serialising the bestselling autobiography by Rabbi Aharon Margalit, As Long as I Live, which, Kalish said, describes the difficulties in his life that he overcame thanks to his strong faith.

Kosher English: http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/KosherEnglish.aspx

 

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The Common European Framework – CEFR

A “wiki-leak” of Brian North’s rarely available PhD –

The Development of a Common Framework Scale of Language Proficiency. Here’s the link:

https://sohaibsandhu.com/language-testing/cefr-common-european-framework/

I have many issues with the CEFR, it’s implementation, the politics, the passive acceptance of it, both in the public and academic domains. At the same time, there are many people who are highly accomplished language testers who praise it highly. It has been implemented in different contexts and is proving invaluable. There are published case studies of it’s use. But it can also result in emotive discussions, where even respectable academics, people who I respect, become like angry gang members, ready to pull up their academic sleeves accusing each other of just plain jealousy – not academic talk you’d say. Yes, it’s not academic, but it’s good to let the human side out now and then, as it reminds us that in fact we are all mere humans at the end of the day.  But where did it all begin? This read is a part of it.

Having Brian’s PhD publicly available means that it is open to greater dissemination, by a more informed public.

Thanks to the sender.

Have an enjoyable read!