Internationalization at Home

Internationalization at Home

A new international project: “Be’er-Sheva –Moscow”

A new and exciting online collaboration has started in the academic year of 2020-2021, between Kaye Academic College of Education and Kosygin Russian State University (link to the University’s site). The participants in this joint projects include Israeli students at Kaye College, studying in the course Hebrew as a Second Language in an online environment in the Department of Hebrew Language led by Dr. Irena Blanky-Karlin, and Russian students, studying at the The Kosygin State University of Russia, Department of Philology and Linguoculturology, led by Dr. Yulia Kondrakov.

During the course at Kaye College, the students from the Jewish sector function as ‘the teachers’, while the Bedouin and  Russian students are treated as ‘students’. Later during the course, both groups will switch positions. Thus, students who function as ‘teachers’ have the chance to hands-on practice Hebrew instruction as a second (or foreign) language, while ‘students’, will enrich their knowledge in written and spoken Hebrew as their second or foreign language.

The aim of the project is not only to deepen the knowledge of the Hebrew Language and instruction, and  to increase the exposure of students from both countries to new ways of teaching, but also to create a multi-cultural discourse among all participants.

Throughout the course, teachers of both institutions will strive that students from both countries succeed in contributing their knowledge and experience to the rest of the learners in the course.  Therefore, during the course relevant issues will be jointly and actively sought after, by students and course instructors alike, so that students from all backgrounds – Jewish, Bedouin, and Russian, can learn effectively from one another.

The collaboration is accompanied by recently signed MOU between the institutions: Kaye Academic College of Education and Kosygin Russian State University.

Dr. Yulia Kondrakov

Dr. Irena Blanky-Karlin

Kosygin Russian State University

May 2019

Collaboration has been continuing between Dr. Doron Narkiss of the English Department at the College and Prof. Rosalind Horowitz of University of Texas at San Antonio. This project aimed to elicit and analyze students’ perceptions to border literacy, in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural societies. In UTSA as at Kaye the student population is mixed, and different programs for different populations may run parallel, whether out of necessity or according to government and Education Ministry guidelines, in schools and therefore also in pre-service training. Prof. Horowitz has coined the phrase “border literacy” to convey the idea that what is taught “on the border”, by whom, and to whom, matters a great deal; our interest at this stage of the research is to see how the students define it. Over the past year we have been collecting students’ guided responses to Gloria Anzaldua’s writing, particularly to the chapter “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” from Borderlands/La Frontera. 

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Prof. Rosalind Horowitz

By: Dr. Doron Narkiss & Dr. Nurit Basman-MorIN2IT

Over the last three years, Kaye College has partnered in the Erasmus+ project called in2it – internationalization through novel technology. The fruits of the project are four international online courses – in other words, courses which can be accessed and participated in via the Internet. Students from 14 institutes of higher education – 7 in Europe and 7 in Israel – are taking part in the courses. All courses were developed by international groups from these institutions.

The EIP Course

One of these courses, English for Internalization Purposes or EIP was developed, and taught this year (2018) by a team headed by Dr. Doron Narkiss of the Department of English at Kaye Academic College of Education; Dr. Narkiss taught the course at the College.

The objective of the course is to support learning and shared practice of English in pairs and small groups, with emphasis placed on developing knowledge and language proficiency which will serve as a means of communication for research, employment, cooperation and presentation. The course is divided into 6 units, each of which serves as the foundation of the next unit. Accordingly, a simple 150-word composition on “My routine day” forms the basis of a clip and of the curriculum vitae, and these in their turn evolve into creative tools for an “elevator pitch” (communicating a message in a quick, catchy way). The ability to listen and reading comprehension are related to the subject of English for Internalization; for the last unit of the course, the tools that were previously learned are used by means of a final brief research project.

The content and technology which students use add to their confidence, and teach collaborative skills and the means of communication that students can utilize in their learning and working environments. Judging from feedback during and following the course, the objectives were understood and assessed by most participants. We appreciate the international cooperation, and hope to offer this course to students in Israel and abroad in coming years.

Diversity Course

Another course that was developed and taught at the College is a course which addresses diversity. The course was taught during Semester A of 5778 (2017-2018), and about 150 students from various academic institutions in Israel and Europe participated in it; 12 of them are graduate students at Kaye College.

The course was conducted entirely online. In feedback sent at the end of the course, many students reported their satisfaction with the course, and the awareness it raised in them. Furthermore, most students completed the tasks and fulfilled course requirements successfully.

At a meeting of the course developers which took place in German in April 2018, it was decided to make a number of changes in the course so as to increase interaction between Israeli students and their peers in Europe. The course is intended to be taught at various academic institutions in Israel and in Europe in the coming academic year as well.

As part of the in2it project, excelling students from each college were chosen to represent the course participants at the project’s concluding meeting which will be held in Milano at the end of June 2018. We expect 5 students from these two courses to represent Kaye College at the event.

Co-founded Logo

During the first semester of the 2017-18 academic year, a new online international collaboration between 17 students in a course on “Multiculturalism in Virtual Space” got under way at Kaye Academic College under the guidance of Dr. Liron Ohayon-Shokty, and 30 students from John Abbott College in Canada under the guidance of Dr. Alan Weiss, with assistance from Miss Brenda Lamb, a pedagogical advisor for computer matters. The students are learning in a humanities course entitled “The Struggle of Ideas in Modern Perspective.” As a matter of general knowledge, John Abbott College has 7,000 students. The institution is located in the village of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue at the western tip of the Island of Montreal, at the junction of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers.

This international collaboration consisted of three synchronous online meetings (utilizing the GotoMeeting software, which enables a live online conversation) and four non-synchronous meetings (written discussions). The meetings focused on three Israeli films: “Out in the Dark” (2012), “Sand Storm” (2016), and “Live and Become” (2005). The students in the two courses were asked to view the three films and discuss two basic questions each time, from which a live discussion and a discussion accompanied by writing developed in the course forum on the model Canadian website. The Kaye Academic College students were given access to the course website. The two basic questions were:

  1. Does the film simulate or distort reality?
  2. Do the problems that the film raises relate at all to your own personal experiences?

In order to overcome the language barrier, the students in the “Multiculturalism” course, most of whom are not English majors, were asked to prepare and translate their answers to the basic questions ahead of time. In the free discussion stage (oral and written), they were helped by their fellow classmates and the course lecturer.

During the online meetings, which were lively and full of interest, the students presented and discussed various opinions and experiences from their lives that were relevant to the content of the films under discussion, and presented various sociological approaches for analyzing the films. This unique collaboration is expected to continue in the next semester as well, and to include additional topics for discussion.

Online Collaboration with John Abbott College in Canada

In the framework of the course on entrepreneurship and innovation, second- and third-year students in the RGB (Rosh Gadol B’Hora’ah – Excellence Plan of the Can-Do in Teaching) program participated in a computerized self-study course in English. The course contained content on creative thinking, business administration, and economics.

At the end of the course, a hackathon was held (a hackathon is an event in which people gather together in order to work on technological projects on a specific subject. “Hack” means creative design and “thon” comes from “marathon” – a race), which lasted 72 hours. 160 students of economics, engineering, business administration, information management, etc. participated. The hackathon included the development of a task on the subject of “smart cities.” This task required them to find a solution to an urban problem that they had identified. During the hackathon, the students in the program were put together in international groups with students from France and England and with other students from Israel who study at other colleges that are also taking part in the IN2IT project.

Kaye College is part of an Erasmus+ consortium of Israeli and European institutions of higher education, called IN2IT, whose aim is to develop tools and strategies for furthering the internationalization of the institutions.

As part of this global cooperation, Kaye College faculty have been involved in developing two of the four international courses that will be the product of this three-year collaborative effort. These are “English for Internationalization Purposes” (EIP), to further students’ communicative skills in English; and “Embracing Diversity”, including multiculturalism, disability, gender and sexual orientation, and criminal justice. The other two courses are “Essential Skills” and “Global Entrepreneurship”. The Entrepreneurship course, together with EIP and Diversity, will be run as virtual courses next academic year.

During the second semester of this academic year, the EIP and Diversity courses were piloted in the College. The aim of the pilots was to see whether the level of the course and its content were appropriate, and to encourage internationalization through various channels of communication and group work among students from different institutions. Each course presented one module of several planned, to test the technical aspects as well as accessibility, language level, and reading and listening comprehension. Activities in both courses placed emphasis on communication and included filming and uploading one-minute videos of “a day in my life”, with commentary, listening to lectures in English and responding to them, reading and writing descriptive and analytical passages. The pilots provided feedback that will be used for the continuing development of the courses.

Professor Rosalind Horowitz is a member of the academic faculty of the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching and of the faculty of the Department of Educational Psychology at University of Texas at San Antonio, in the United States. She visited Be’er Sheva in December and met lecturers, students and the President of the College. During this visit, a creative partnership was forged between Kaye College and UTSA, and lecturers from Kaye’s English Department plan to collaborate with Prof. Horowitz on the subject of literacy with a focus on borders and their ramifications.

As part of their collaboration, led jointly by Dr. Doron Narkis from the English Department and Prof. Rosalind Horowitz from UTSA, teaching students from the Negev and from Southern Texas will research their history and its ramifications on the development of their personal and professional identities, the development of a dual-national identity and the aspiration of teaching English as a second language.

This partnership, anchored by a bilateral agreement signed recently between the two institutions, will be developed over the next few years. It will serve as a means of researching and acquiring information that will accompany and enrich the pedagogy dealing with borders and the training for teachers who will eventually be teaching diverse, developing bilingual populations living in border areas.

Collaboration Agreement with University of Texas at San Antonio
Collaboration Agreement with University of Texas at San Antonio

A collaborative project was started in the second semester of the 2014-2015 academic year, between the English Department at Kaye College (lead by Dr. Liron Ohayon-Shokty and Ms. Regina Benchetrit) and the Theology and Religious Studies Department at York St. John University (lead by Ms. Imelda O’Grady and Mr. Daniel Mackley). The project aimed to provide the learners with global perspectives of their discipline by developing an ‘international learning community’ where students are active participants in the teaching and learning process.

In addition, students at the English department at Kaye were given an opportunity to practice and discuss authentic English language skills, while students at the Theology department at YSJU were able to get acquainted with and discuss authentic and modern Jewish practices as practiced in another part of the world.

The collaborative project used York St John’s Universities Learning Management System (LMS) as the platform to support the online activities. The student activities included a series of online asynchronous discussions plus synchronous video-conferences around the topic of Judaism as a living faith’.  Students from both institutions were expected to work both independently as well as in international groups, taking advantage of such technology as Skype, Discussion Forums, Google Drive, YouTube, Video editing software. Student expectations were clearly defined at the beginning of the project and were based upon Forbes (2012) Initial Discussion Guidelines.

The structure of the project was designed to provide students with increasing autonomy with respect to their discussions. This took the form of a structured activity initially, in line with first stage (Access and Motivation) on Salmon’s (2011) 5-stage model.

Following a workshop taught last year at the college on internationalization of the curriculum, facilitated by Dr. Sheila Trahar from Bristol University in England, the idea was raised to launch an internationalization pilot project in the new Master’s program “Education in the Age of Information Technology” in conjunction with and guided by Dr. Trahar.

The general objectives of internationalization of the curriculum are enriching content that has international elements, developing initiatives to collaborate with educational institutions in Israel and worldwide, developing multicultural and international values and exchanging lecturers and students.

During the pilot project, various activities were held, including an online meeting between the students and Dr. Trahar. During the meeting, Dr. Trahar spoke about the changes to her professional identity following a project with students from Hong Kong and South America. She also mentioned the need to develop awareness of the differing styles of accepted teacher-student relationships that exist in each culture. During the discussion, the students talked about the experience of meeting the other members of the multicultural study group and the feeling of friendship within the group.

An additional internationalization activity focused on a collaborative study between Master’s students from three Israeli colleges of education: Kibbutzim College, Al-Qasemi College and Gordon College. Over seven weeks of distance learning, the students learned the topic of distance teaching. The concluding meeting was held face to face at the Google offices in Israel.

A collaborative project is expected to be lauched next academic year between student sat the English Department at Kaye Academic College and the students at UTSA revolving around the topics of Border Discourse and Border Pedagogy. Via online discussions and meetings, students will discuss and explore isuues pertaining to identity borders.

The collaboration will be led by Dr. Rosalind Horowitz of UTSA and Dr. Doron Narkiss of Kaye College.

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