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The AMIT English Website
by Sigalit Arditi


Abstract:
The AMIT English website contains online EFL units intended for the use of junior high and high school pupils. The site has always been free and open for all. It can be used in school, as extra work and enrichment and/or as a resource material for teachers. Each unit may be taught as is in its entirety, or alternatively teachers can also choose certain tasks in each unit and teach them nonlinearly.

Before I describe the AMIT English site and how it can be useful for teachers, I would like to explain a little about the AMIT Network.

The AMIT schools promote religious tolerance, service to the state and the recognition that every child is blessed with unique talents and abilities. The AMIT Network now includes more than 80 schools and programs serving more than 20,000 students in cities and towns throughout Israel. AMIT educates children from first grade through junior college in a wide range of subjects and courses of study. The students come from every strata of Israeli society. More information about the network can be found here.

About the AMIT English Website
The AMIT English website is a free, open website which can be accessed by everyone. It is mainly intended for EFL pupils in the junior high and high school. It was created through the writing of interactive learning units connected to the annual themes published by the Ministry of Education. Gradually, over time, "hot" topics which were on the news or topics which have added educational value were added. The website is written according to the guidelines of the New Curriculum of English.

The main navigation bar of the site is at the top of the page. This navigation bar is divided according to the following topics: respect and human rights, gender equality, violence, environmental issues, a section about elementary school, the yearly calendar that includes all the major Jewish holidays, more units (additional units which were not listed in the other sections), links and topics. The section 'Topics' is an alphabetized list of all the units in the site and could be a good place to search for topics on the site.

The site has a section dedicated especially to elementary school with activities covering topics such as the ABCs, colors, clothes, the days of the week, food, jobs, family, etc.

What kind of feedback is provided?
Teachers have often asked me how they can make sure that their pupils are on task if they let them work on a unit by themselves. One of the answers is that the units are graded in their level of difficulty in order that a variety of learners may successfully utilize the materials. Usually the units are written so that students get immediate feedback when they answer a question and this is done by the use of multiple choice questions or games. Every unit also has open-ended questions which can be printed out and handed in to the teacher. And what do you do if the printer does not work or is out of paper? Then the answers can be copied and then pasted into an email and sent; thus the work is not lost. The units also include discussion forums and surveys. The discussion forums are monitored and "cleaned up" if necessary.

How to incorporate your regular teaching with the site?
Pupils can use the AMIT English site in the school computer lab, or at home as extra work, homework or enrichment. The units can be used as introductory activities to topics that will be taught in the classroom. Alternatively, the website could be used to sum up a unit taught in class and provide further knowledge and enrichment. Each unit usually has various additional links at the end enabling pupils to learn more about the topic, do a performance task, or project. The units can also be used by teachers as resource materials for topics they would like to teach.

Each unit consists of a few tasks which don't necessarily have to be completed in the order they appear. Teachers can instruct pupils to do certain tasks of their choosing and have the students report on them in the following lesson.

A lot of attention in the AMIT units has been put to designing activities that have an added educational value. It is hoped that you find the activities helpful both in terms of their educational value as well as their ability to reinforce students' English language proficiency.

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