I have worked at a Jewish elementary school in Dusseldorf, Germany, for over ten years. Most of our children are from the former USSR. Most of them speak Russian as their mother tongue and do not speak Hebrew at home. I came to Israel in October to study as part of the program for teaching Hebrew as an additional language at Levinsky-Wingate Academic College. I am experimenting with teaching Hebrew in the 'Hakfar Hayarok' in a class that is part of the KIDS4ALLL international project by Horizon 2020, European Union.
The students aged 15-16 immigrate to Israel from Russia and Ukraine without their families. The children come to Israel as part of Naale Elite Academy, which means that youth come before parents. I have the privilege of being with the students in their first stages of transition and inclusion in Israel with all the excitement and challenges.
In our introductory meeting with the children, each presented him/herself in the most accessible language possible. We also told them in easy Hebrew and translated into English and Russian that we were students from Levinsky-Wingate Academic College and would study together.
I am happy to experience teaching with the students in the 'Hakfar Hayarok'. They have a very high motivation to learn Hebrew. They are in the process of social and cultural formation and personal positioning. It is exciting to notice that they can already speak a few sentences in Hebrew and are learning quickly new vocabulary. The teachers encourage the children to talk and to work with each other to promote the buddy system. I work individually with the buddy pairs and enable them to acquire lifelong learning skills according to their needs.
This is an exciting and challenging teaching, and I am happy to experience it.