How bilingual teaching can break down barriers

The Hand in Hand schools in Jerusalem and the Galilee are crossing a cultural divide by teaching Jewish and Arab children simultaneously in Hebrew and Arabic. Adi Bloom reports

Magazine article image

“I had a ballet teacher,” says 16-year-old Inbar Shaked-Vardi. “When I talked to her about my school, about learning Arabic, she said, ‘When I hear Arabs talk on the train, I get so scared.’ “And I said, ‘No, no. They’re just talking about what to make for dinner’.”

Shaked-Vardi has been a pupil at the Hand in Hand school in Jerusalem since she was four years old. The founding premise of all Hand in Hand schools – there are now six in Israel – is equality. Jews and Arabs are taught together.

Each primary class is taught by two teachers, one Arab and one Jewish. Each lesson is conducted in ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues