The general subject of the unit that we are starting today is Coexistence.

  • In order to communicate effectively, people need a common language.
    Can you explain this sentence?
    Do you agree?
    Can you justify your answer?
  • Why is it so important to know foreign languages?
    Is it important in Israel? Why?
  • What is the most important foreign language Israeli students should study?
    Justify your choice.

Helpful Vocabulary

overcome the language barrier   –   להתגבר על המחסום הלשוני

embarrassed   –   נבוך

misunderstanding   –   אי הבנה

gestures   –   תנועות ידיים

body language   –   שפת גוף


Talking about it.

  • Is Arabic taught at your school?
  • Why is it important to study Arabic?
  • Should Jewish students study spoken Arabic or literary Arabic?
  • Should Arabic be a compulsory subject at school?
  • Compare the advantages of studying Arabic, French, Italian or Spanish.

Helpful Vocabulary

compulsory subject   –   מקצוע חובה

optional subject   –   מקצוע בחירה, רשות

translation   –   תרגום

general knowledge  –   השכלה כללית

bridge   –   גשר


Getting Ready to Read

This is the first sentence of the next Reading Passage:

Language is a key to Culture.

The following is the last sentence of the next Reading Passage:

It is a small but important step towards peace.

  • What appears to be the subject of the next passage?
  • What is the connection between language and culture?
    Why is it important to understand other people’s cultures?
    Are certain cultures superior/inferior to others?
    Give examples of situations that may seem strange or funny if we are not familiar  with a certain culture.
  • What languages, do you think, the passage deals with?
  • Look at the first word of the first sentence of the passage.
    Look at the last word of the last sentence of the passage.
    What is the connection between these two words? Explain and discuss!


Make sure you know the meaning of the following words before you read the whole passage. (Look them up in the dictionary.)





civil servants


Reading Passage

Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow.

1. Language is a key to culture. If Jews and Arabs truly wish to coexist peacefully in the Middle East, they must learn to communicate. They must learn to understand each other. When Arabs learn Hebrew and Jews learn Arabic, they take an important step towards peaceful coexistence. They use language as a bridge.

2. Although half the Israeli population originates from Arab countries, there is a decline in the number of Arabic speakers in the country. The Ministry of Education has designed various programs aimed at increasing the number of students studying Arabic. Arabic has, therefore, been made compulsory at certain levels.

3. Ulpan Akiva in Netanya is an institution where both Arabs and Jews have a chance to meet and learn each other’s language. Every year, twenty women soldiers, chosen from among 600 applicants, spend eight months at the Ulpan studying Arabic. Then they devote the rest of their military service to teaching Arabic in developing towns. In addition, various mini-courses in Arabic are held at the Ulpan for senior army officers and government officials. Hundreds of Arab doctors, teachers and civil servants are sent to Ulpan Akiva for courses in Hebrew.

4. The programs at Ulpan Akiva combine language classes with lessons on culture and ethnic or religious  customs. Learning about each other’s culture helps eliminate prejudice. It is a small but important step towards peace.



1. Complete the following sentences (paragraph 1).

In order to ————————————————————-, Jews and Arabs ——————————————————. Language can serve —————————————.

2. How many people in Israel speak Arabic (paragraph 2)?

a. More than in the past.

b. Less than in the past.

c. Half of the population.

d. Most of the population.

3. What is the Ministry of Education doing in order to increase the number of Arabic speakers (paragraph 2)?


4. When the author says Arabic has been made compulsory at certain levels (paragraph 2) , she means that

a. All the students have to study Arabic.

b. Students don’t have to study Arabic.

c. Most students have to study Arabic.

d. In certain classes students have to study Arabic.

5. How do you know that it is very hard to be accepted at Ulpan Akiva for the eight-month course in Arabic (paragraph 3)?


6. Who or what does the word they in paragraph 3 refer to?


7. What do the women soldiers do after they finish the course (paragraph 3)?


8. Complete the following sentence (paragraph 3).

The mini-Arabic courses are designed for ————————————- and the Hebrew courses are designed for ———————————————

9. What do students at Ulpan Akiva study apart from languages (paragraph 4)?

a. ————————————————————————————————————–


c. —————————————————————————————————————

10. Rearrange the following sentences according to the sequence of ideas in the passage. There are two extra captions.

  • Measures taken to encourage students to study Arabic
  • The content of the Ulpan Akiva courses
  • Language leading to coexistence
  • Hebrew as a compulsory language
  • Mini-Courses in Ulpan Akiva
  • The high tuition fee


And that’s all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.

Lea 🙂



כתיבת תגובה