English as a Mediator for Communication and Understanding: The Case of Israel and Palestine

Anastasia J. Khawaja, Valerie S. Jakar, Brigitta R. Schvarcz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Though with different perspectives and varied experiences, we three TESOL educators came together, through our affiliation with TESOL International Association, to explore the roles for English in the Israel-Palestine region where Hebrew and Arabic are the major languages of communication. In this chapter, we explore initiatives and policies that relate to the uses of English in education and broader society. English, as an International Language (EIL), has considerable status in various domains of society in the region. It acts as a means of striving toward greater communication and understanding between the two language communities, with potential to foster peace and understanding in the region. While we take the use of Arabic and Hebrew into account, we focus on how the shared use of English is or can be employed as a mediator. We explore the focal language situations through sociolinguistic and pedagogical lenses, with a view to identifying commonalities in places, spaces, and events which evidence awareness of social justice or the manifestation of humanitarian ideals. We close this paper with some suggestions, drawn from our findings, for worthwhile ventures for TESOL educators who wish to enable their students to work toward a more peaceful present and future in areas of conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolicy Development in TESOL and Multilingualism
Subtitle of host publicationPast, Present and the Way Forward
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789811636035
ISBN (Print)9789811636028
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021.


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