English Teachers Extend Reach to Israeli Children

This summer marked the second year that American English teachers embarked on a five-week journey to the Holy Land to educate children from varying socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.

The Israel Program for Excellence in English, or TALMA, was first created through the collective vision of Israel’s Ministry of Education, the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, and the Schusterman Family Foundation to diminish social chasms among Israeli children, introduce American educational strategies to Israeli educators, and provide cultural understanding to visiting English teachers.

This summer, TALMA invited just eighty English teachers from the United States to attend the program. During their visit, each English teacher teamed up with a local Israeli educator to provide interactive language development activities for students in grades 1-4. TALMA officials handpicked foreign English teachers for this unique program based on their formal education, professional experience, and sincere curiosity for the Israeli culture.

As it exists now, Israeli boasts sixteen TALMA schools located in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and over fifty other municipalities. However, upon witnessing the educational impact that TALMA made in the last two years alone, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat has expressed great intent for program expansion. If all goes well, next year TALMA will also cater to fifth and sixth graders.

Not surprisingly, American English teachers continually claim that they, and not the Israeli children, are the ones that truly benefit from the TALMA experience. English teachers continually discovered new approaches, classroom management options, and coping devices within the classroom to advance professional progression.

However, most educators felt that the true reward came from learning to abandon more singular, structured lesson plans and embrace a more collaborative, creative, and relaxed style of teaching. By doing so, many English teachers learned to successfully push through language barriers and forge more profound connections with their students. As a result, not only are English teachers able to apply these new outlooks back home, but also allow low-income Israeli children the opportunity to pursue more advantageous lives.


The Grand Canyon University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Program and a B.A. in Secondary Education.

The Master of Arts in Teaching – TESOL online program from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to teach students of all ages in the U.S. and internationally, gives you the option to pursue a teaching credential, and can be completed in 12 months.

Liberty University Offers Undergrad Cert and B.Ed. in English as a Second Language.

Capella University offers an online Master’s program in English Language Learning and Teaching designed to help educators advance their career in supporting diverse student populations. While it does not satisfy licensure requirements, the program can help you build the skills to use instructional strategies, emerging trends, and best practices to effectively teach English Language Learners and help students adapt to new cultural environments.