Israel's Future English Teachers Scored Below Average on English High School Exam

Over 90 percent of future English teachers failed to obtain a high-enough grade on the matriculation exam to exempt them from English-language studies

FILE PHOTO: A school in Israel.
Gil Eliyahu

The next generation of English teachers in Israel will be entering classrooms with a handicap: They aren’t particularly proficient in the language.

That’s what figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics released last week showed.

More than 90 percent of future English teachers enrolled in teachers colleges failed to obtain a high-enough grade on the bagrut (matriculation exam) to exempt them from English-language studies while earning their bachelor’s degree.

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The CBS said the average score for undergraduates in 2018 was 102 (including bonus points). At 111, future university students scored highest, compared with an average of 97 for students at academic colleges and 96 for students at teachers colleges.

Only 5 percent of future English teachers scored high enough to be exempt from studying English for their bachelor’s, far lower than the 21 percent for all students in institutions of higher education.