With the appearance of the second issue of "The Etni Rag", we feel we are entering into an exciting new chapter of ETNI. As with all things, the beginning is always the most difficult. A new layout is created, a writers' base is formed, different directions are considered, and we slowly feel our way forward with the help of the Etni community. And, because the Etni environment is such a dynamic one, we are sure that The Rag will take on a life of its own and lead us in directions that even we may not have imagined.
Our next issue
In successfully keeping to our tight schedule so far, we plan to bring out The Rag as a quarterly, and the third issue will appear some time around Pesach 2007. The third issue will deal with "Reading", a very hot issue on the Etni mailing list this past month. There are many different aspects to the theme of "Reading" in the EFL classroom, and we believe that the third issue will provide an interesting and comprehensive approach to this subject.
If you are interested in submitting an article to Issue #3 of The Rag, please Contact us: TheRag@etni.org.
To help us get started with the third issue, we ask you to take a moment to complete the following question:
"My students have problems reading because ..."
You can do this through an online form on the Etni site, or send us your response through email.
And don't forget - you don't necessarily have to write about the selected topic for a specific issue in order to contribute. You are welcome to suggest your own ideas for a featured article or regular column.
Why do we feel that The Rag is so important?
Etni has fulfilled an important place in the English teaching community over the years. But one of the things that has been missing is a serious periodical that can reach all of the teachers in Israel and in other parts of the world, whether or not they belong to the Etni community. Not only a periodical that will be read and discarded, but one that will be archived on the web, available to all at the click of the button. One that will be discovered through key word searches on the Internet, so that your words will reach a very wide audience.
We belong to an international community. We have a lot to learn from this community and a lot to contribute. Etni is constantly attempting to create the virtual tools to allow us to do this.
In this issue
Issue #2 of the Rag deals with Assessment, Testing and Evaluation. We asked writers to focus on ways to assess student progress, either through traditional methods or through "alternative" or "authentic" means, as well as discuss recent trends, and tackle the issue of Bagrut.
And our writers certainly met the challenge!
- Thanks to Abi Shatz for the first contribution to "Letters to the Editor", sharing what assessment is really all about. We hope to have more letters to the editor in the next issue of The Rag. We have set up an online form for this purpose, or you can send the letter directly to us through email and write "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.
- Our columnist Erica Garb continues her investigation of effective learning, by introducing us to the Dynamic Assessment process. She discusses different kinds of assessment, "teaching to the test", and merging learning and testing, with some outstanding and useful examples.
- Mitzi Geffen's Drama column is a real treat this issue - she effectively uses drama as a ways of assessing student learning and mastery, with suggestions that will delight students and break through grammar quiz boredom!
- Naomi Epstein's column on working with deaf and hard-of-hearing breaks the myths of the use of electronic dictionaries for tests and other purposes.
- Nellie Deutsch continues exploring collaborative projects by discussing ways to assess student work through Web Quests.
- Barry Silverberg delights us with his satiric piece on students' Bloopers in Bagrut exams.
- Aviva Shapiro talks about the effect of tests in the learning process.
- Feature writer Terry provides some great help to teachers and students in a discussion about SEN accommodations.
- Gay Bergman, Eric Cohen Books, talks about the impact of changes in the Bagrut on book publishers.
- And Ellen Hoffenberg-Serfaty continues her column focusing on Students with Special Educational Needs by exploring why we give test accomodations for SEN students, problems in the disability assessment process, and another great site--EASI.
And our other column writers and features keep us thinking, and enrich our teaching practice!
The Rag couldn't exist without the creativity and enthusiasm of ETNIers. Welcome to another new column!
- David Gilmore is our first contributor to the new column, "Special People, Special Places", where we will highlight an unusual teaching center in each issue. David starts us off with the background of Neurim School in the Geha Psychiatric Hospital, and will continue next issue on methods to use with students with emotional and psychiatric problems.
Our Poets' Corner has taken on a number of new contributors:
And, in ending, we want to remind you once more that The Rag belongs to us all. Its success depends on your writing. We all have something to contribute from our experience in and out of the classroom. Take your time, find the best time to write. We are sure that we will be hearing from you soon.
David & Ellen