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by David Lloyd & Ellen Hoffenberg-Serfaty, J.D

Welcome all! To a new school year…to our new on-line journal, The Etni Rag!

For those of you who have been with ETNI for years, the renewal of the Etni News, in the form of The Etni Rag is like greeting an old friend or relative that you see occasionally, but have missed for awhile. For those of you newbies, you are in for a treat!

As with ETNI, The Rag depends on you. Not only for editorials, but for all of its content-you will see that each and every one of our columns is written by ETNI members. Without YOU, there is no ETNI and no Rag. So dive in, send us articles and support the effort.

Want to see other columns? Other content? Comment on what you read and hear? Let us know!

A little bit of history
David Lloyd started ETNI News in 1997 with the first issue relating to Weak Learners and Learners with LD, and several ETNIANs joined forces, and followed this with three more issues between '97-'99.

So it's been about 7 years since the last issue of the News. Why now?

ETNI has grown so much! In the last 7 years, the ETNI list has grown from a few hundred members to over 1300 members; and the content on the site, as well as contributors have kept pace. While the ETNI site provides you with a wealth of information that will help you in your English teaching, and the list enables teachers to share and learn from each other, we also need an online journal through which English teaching professionals will have access to articles relating to their concerns. Content that will make you kick back, reflect and think about your teaching, help you initiate long-term changes in your teaching methods, bring you up-to-date in the uses of new technologies, or just help you engage in burn-out prevention by hearing from your colleagues and realizing that you are not "alone" out there.

The Rag will offer an opportunity for teachers and other professionals to reach a wide audience on-line, a chance to publish high level content, and to give our national and international members immediate access to information that they need to improve their teaching practice.

We want to give our special thanks to Cherie (Cheryl) Mellen Perelsztejn, a graphic artist and fellow English teacher, who donated her time and patience in order to create the graphic layout for The Rag.

What you will find in this issue-and every issue
This issue is appropriately dedicated (in a timely fashion!) to "Back to School", and Poet and Rag columnist Barry Gonen gets us off to a great start.

When we announced the renewal of The Rag we hadn't contemplated the war, and its likely impact on our students, their parents, and ourselves as educators. Thankfully, some of our columnists took this into consideration:
  • Psychologist and stress expert Dina Wyshogrod joins ETNI and The Rag shares her own journey exploring stress and meditation, and examines what stress is and how you can deal with it.
  • Aviva Shapiro, in her column on Obstacles talks about dealing with the war in your classrooms, as well as the usual beginning-of-the-year problems.
  • And what are we missing? Humour, of course! Frequent ETNI contributor Barry Silverberg talks about the beginning of the year with his own brand of satire in On the Rag.

Two new columns catch us up with education in technology during the last few years: Nellie Deutsch writes about Collaborative Projects and WebQuests and Batya Medad introduces us to the world of Blogging.

And the arts are well represented: Columnist Mitzi Geffen tells us how to Add Some Drama to your Teaching and musician Laurie Ornstein brings us her column on how to use music in class.

We are extremely lucky to have two of Israel's most talented and knowledgeable EFL reading experts join us on The Rag:
  • Dr. Erica Garb, English Inspector for the Aguda goes Beyond the Unseen and tells us what students really need to know to master reading comprehension and learn to learn!
  • Dr. Peggy Barzilay, remedial reading specialist talks about one of the major reasons Why Readers Have Problems.
Students with special educational needs have always been a priority with ETNI. Ellen Hoffenberg-Serfaty rejoins us with a column on SEN students, including some tips for starting the year, how to find out what the problems REALLY are, why we should use assistive technology, and great links for SEN. And one of our Featured Articles: Naomi Epstein give us tips for working with Deaf and Hearing-Impaired students at all levels.

And our features for this month:
The Rag isn't the only on-line content with a facelift. Thanks to Adele Raemer for introducing us to the New REED website. And Richard Steinitz discusses the importance of going beyond the class coursebook if we really want to teach our kids English!

New to The Rag, we will have Feature Articles each month along with columns, that will mostly contribute to the issue's theme. You can read About Our Writers in each issue and eventually browse Letters to the Editorial, as well as past issues.

Our next issue will deal with the theme: Testing, Assessment and Evaluation.
Here's your chance to write and read about your favorite ways to assess student progress, either through traditional methods or or through "alternative" or "authentic" means, and catch up with recent trends. We're ready to tackle the Bagrut module format and Meitzav tests as well.

Remember-without you, we have no news. So volunteer to write an article or a column. Or let the "editors" know how you feel... Write to: The Rag

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