Recent foreign language education policies in Palestine
The paper investigates the development of foreign language education policies in Palestine, at a time when the establishment of a Palestinian state has become a real option, and when, following the Oslo agreements, the Palestinians have become responsible for Palestinian education. As the New Palestinian Curriculum shows, an international orientation is clearly part of the policy, and accordingly the learning and teaching of languages are a primary concern in identity formation. Through Arabic the relations with the Arabic countries in the region can be maintained, while Hebrew and also English will serve as the medium of communication with Israel, which will remain part of the Palestinian reality. Knowledge of other foreign languages will be needed to maintain contacts with other parts of the world. For historical reasons, Palestine has been in contact with many different countries all over the world, probably more than most other Arabic-speaking countries. It remains to be seen how the current battle between Arabization and Muslim fundamentalism on the one hand, and westernization and desecularization on the other will be resolved, but, whatever the outcome, Palestine cannot allow itself to turn away from the rest of the world.
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