Book review: (fwd)

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Dec 5 13:12:54 UTC 2002

Title: Language Education Policy: The Arab Minority in Israel
Series Title: Language Policy

Publication Year: 2002, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Book URL:

Authors: Dr. Muhammad Hasan Amara, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan and Beit
Berl College, Kefar Sava, Israel Dr. Abd Al-Rahman Mar'i, Beit Berl
College, Kefar Sava, Israel


The Israeli reality points to a number of deep divisions among the
population (such as between Sephardi-Ashkenazi, Orthodox-secular,
men-women, Arab-Jew), most of which, in our opinion, are progressively
decreasing as time passes. The Arab-Jewish divide is the deepest of all,
and there is still no solution. In spite of its intensity, it did not
enjoy a centrality whether in public debates or in academia. This subject
has only come on the agenda after sharp tensions between Arabs and Jews.

In this book we will explore in more detail some aspects of the
Arab-Jewish divide, which raise fundamental questions regarding the place
of the Arabs and Arab language education in the Jewish State. More
specifically, the aim of this book is to describe and analyze language
education in the Arab society in Israel from the establishment of the
state in 1948 until today. For this purpose, internal processes, which are
embedded within the Arab population itself were examined, such as the
socio-economic condition of the population, the diglossic situation in the
Arabic language, and the wide use of Hebrew among Arabic speakers.
Furthermore, the book also deals with external processes such as the
policy of control and inspection of the Ministry of Education over the
Arab education system in general and on language education in particular,
the dominance of Hebrew, and the definition and perception of Israel as a
Jewish State. The influence of both internal and external processes on
language education and learning achievements will also be extensively
discussed. A comprehensive examination was made of Arabic, Hebrew and
English, as well as the teaching of French in a number of community

The target group for this book are people who are concerned with
sociolinguistics, language education, and language policy and planning.
This book will be also of special interest to Arab language teachers and
policy-makers in Israel.


Preface by the Series Editors (Bernard Spolsky & Elana Shohamy).
List of Tables.
List of Figures.
1. Introduction.
2. The Arabs in Israel: Internal and Regional Developments.
3. The Linguistic Repertoire: Sociolinguistic and Political Aspects.
4.Policy and Teaching Arabic as a Mother Tongue.
5. Policy and Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language.
6. Policy and Teaching English as a First Foreign Language.
7. Policy and Teaching French as a Second Foreign Language.
8. Language Attitudes and Ideologies.
Appendix I.
Appendix II.
Subject Index.

Hardback: ISBN: 1402005857, Pages: 221, Price: EUR 88.00 / USD 81.00 /
          GBP 55.00

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