Karen Abel (Head of English, Beit Berl College, Kfar Saba, Israel), Michelle Hanoch (Beit Berl College), and David Prickett (Head of Zessko) have been working exclusively online on the design, implementation, and revision of their course “INTERFACE” since summer 2018. The first project run was in the 2020 Summer Semester. In 2021, they launched a second joint project (English Oral Proficiency 4), and this project has also taken place every summer since. In addition, Abel and Prickett have presented the projects at several conferences and in smaller settings (e.g., in a hybrid consultation with guest lecturers from Université Paris Nanterre at the University of Potsdam).
Not only the instructors but also more than 300 prospective English teachers at Beit Berl College and the University of Potsdam have benefitted from this intensive collaboration. In December 2022, Prickett was invited to teach at Beit Berl College. With the University of Potsdam’s “Teaching & Training” Cooperation Grant, he was able to visit Beit Berl College in the last week of March 2023.
This week was a politically eventful week in Israel, and Prickett was able to get the opinions of his colleagues and the students at Beit Berl College on those developments. He got to know the students at Beit Berl College with whom he and the Potsdam students had worked in the 2022/2023 Winter Semester and will be working in the 2023 Summer Semester. Abel, Hanoch, and Prickett made final preparations for the course in the summer semester of 2023 and discussed the necessary changes to the course for the 2023/2024 Winter Semester. Prickett informed the Head of the International Office and the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Education about the University of Potsdam and Zessko, with the goal of adding an exchange semester or year to the existing “virtual exchange.” Beit Berl College showed great interest in further collaborative projects for prospective teachers.
Despite the tense situation in Tel Aviv, Dr. Prickett was also able to visit Tel Aviv University. Together with its Center for Language Excellence (CLE), lecturer Joanna Thompson had launched the COIL project "Digital Literacy, Digital Citizenry in Academic Writing" (dig.lit.cit) in 2022. Prickett discussed with the TAU colleagues how collaboration between the CLE’s Conversation Clubs and Zessko’s Language Cafés could be developed. Workshops for students and faculty on well-being through foreign language acquisition, a German-Israeli student project, and collaboration between TAU’s Writing Program and the University of Potsdam’s Writing Assistance Program (Zessko) are other joint projects that are being pursued.
Published on April 20, 2023