New English Teaching : An Idiot’s Guide 

On one side we have the kids, chattering away in totally incomprehensible  jargon.  On the other side we have the inspectors, chattering away in totally incomprehensible  jargon.  On top of the NBA, we are already floundering just trying to keep up with who is whom in the NGA: New Government Asses.  To help you make chaos out of more chaos, I have prepared this   GUIDE:


Part 1:  Appreciation of Culture: The most important culture you have to know is the youth culture; otherwise you are out of it and miss the point of what your pupils are saying. You have to appreciate how hard it is for them growing up today: Here are a few examples:


Eminem:  He sings.  A nice boy.  A wonderful son.  Look how he helps his mother with the Pesach cleaning!  He brushed so hard, the dust flew into her eyes!  ( Song goes like this:  I’m sorry Mama, I didn’t meant to make you cry, but I’m cleaning out my closet!)


Ketamine: The drug of choice with Module 2 pupils. A substance used by vets to treat horses.  Now a popular drug; it’s side effects aren’t even known yet.  In the 60’s ‘horse’ was user’s slang for heroin, but when today’s kid’s say ‘horse’ they mean Ol’ Stewball   himself!  A whole group of my Intermediate Level, Stage 2 boys got hooked , or shall I say, reined in, this winter.  Their project work was shot to hell, but they took first place in  the derby.


TATU:  Two girls who came on Aliah on the ‘Na’aleh’ program, but were sent back to Moscow.  A common story:  Lonely adolescent girls, intimate  dormitory conditions, inadequate enforcement of regulations. . .What happened to them  is much more prevalent than people realize, for few are willing to expose themselves to the shame and ridicule.  Yes, they have ‘kinnim,’ and were tossed off the program and out of Israel.   Once back home, they celebrated their brief stay on Kibbutz with a pop song called “ Running through my Head.”   (It goes like this:  “All those things,” she said, “running through my head running thru my head all those things are dead, Have I lost my Careline?”) Note:  This article does not affirm or deny whether they are  licebians.


Part 2  An Idiot’s Guide to NEW(Bagrut)SPEAK


NBA =  New Bagrut Assessment           

FIFA  =  Farfetched If not Fanciful Assessment

GOB  = Graded Old Bagrut                  

FL       =  Foundation level

PL      =  Proficiency Level

WTCLBFPL   Whatever They Call The Level

 Between Foundation Level  and     Proficiency Level

FAE = Foundation and Empire; a book by Isaac Asimov

ASS  =  The part of the horse that ketamine is injected into.  Addictive Stallion Syndrome.


Module Six = The Most!   As in ‘You’re lending me your sister’s project?  That’s so Module Six of you!.’


What the Words in Bulletin 1 mean referring to what’s on the New Bagrut Exams:

AIW = Reading Comprehension    (Unseen) i.e.  Access to Info from Written Texts

AIS  = Listening Comprehension    (‘Unheard’??) i.e. Access to Info from Spoken Texts

AIQM = Bugging; Access to Info through Questionable Means

P       = Writing Activity  i.e. Presentation

PP     = What pupils had to hold in for 3 hours while they wrote the  Graded Old Bagrut 

PPP   = Peepee Plus; What pupils with time extensions had to hold in for 3 hours and 45 minutes on the GOB; maybe they needed time extension but they ended up with bladder distension.  No wonder they now have  Special Needs!

WCTJSWTM?  Why can’t they just say what they mean?


APPRECIATION OF LANGUAGE:            The past perfect progressive


FOUNDATION LEVEL=                              PAMELA ANDERSON

PERFORMANCE TASK= A Herculean undertaking, before the advent of Viagra. (See Foundation Level, above)

POWER POINT =  ditto   . . .After the advent of viagra.

Social Interaction =  ditto ditto . . .  During  ditto ditto ditto.

FAQ (expletive, vulgar) to wear somebody down by asking the same questions again and again:  E.g.:  Bush:  Where are the gas warheads?                                                  Saddam:    Don’t FAQ with me! 

B  =  Bagrut

BB = Finance Minister

Access to Information = Copying the answers

Irgun Hamordim  a group of irreverent, disrespectful, anti- education individuals who are eroding the Standards set by the Inspectorate.


PIE = Projects in English ( a site on ETNI)

PIF = Projects in Finish ( Not to be confused with Projects to Finnish!)

PIFFLE = Projects in Finish for Fins Learning English

POPOOHPIE  = A site of Projects about A. A. Milne and the Telletubbies.

Teachers’ AIDS = A disease transmitted by  careless Social Interaction and ignorance of guidelines.


                Methodologically Educational Assessment Tools for Projects in English

BIE = Projects in English; (a site on Etni for the Arab sector)


Part 3:             FUQS  AND MUCH’A’FUQ’S:

(Frequently UnAsked Questions


Multiple Choice Answers to Frequently UnAsked Questions)


1  Q What will no longer appear in the new format?  Choose 3 correct answers.

A                 a) cloze type exercises.

                    b) musical hamburgers(The Meat with The Beat)

b)       the slightest trace of foresight or wisdom

c)        the woolly mammoth

d)      answers in Hebrew/Arabic 

f) Yossi Sarid


2  Q    When will these changes begin?

A                 a)  Modularity will begin for pupils in the tenth grade this year only for tenth grade pupils  taking Module A .  (Summer 2003)

b)       As soon as the people behind all this are released from the sanatorium and allowed to resume their lives. 

c)        Right Now:  Ping!  Move it!  Move it!

If you answered ‘b’ or ‘c’ then proceed to question 3.

Q  Hey! Just a minute, there! I read this same question and answer ‘a’ in the first Bulletin, page 24,  and drew the conclusion –obvioso- that it excluded ‘native’ speakers.  Now you’re saying our Natives, who are not doing module A,  have to be assessed by the new format.  

A  Yes, that is an oversight.  Hee hee.  Just because it’s in the Inspector’s bulletin doesn’t make it official, does it?  Anyway,  we can do whatever we want.  NYA NYA NYA (Acronym for New Yomranut Assessment).


3 Q:  What happens to future pupils who become rocket scientists and happen to be on the moon on the day of the Bagrut?

A          a)  As rocket scientists, they will have no difficulty  understanding the new terminology.

  b) They will be provided with a lunar module.

  c) All of this above.  Way above.

4  Q    Can you give us any information about the narrative passage   slated for Module F?

A     Sure.  Here’s two  hints:

            a)  Little- Read Readinghood; 

   b)  The Little-read Hen


6  Q What is the rationale for including a narrative in the  Module F written exam?

A                 a) so there will be at least one part of the exam with a happy end.

                   b) none of the other modules would accept it.

c) We do   not  use the words ‘New Bagrut’ and ‘rational’ in the same sentence.  Like,  Why does question 6 come before 5, eh?


5  Q  Why is this New Format different from all other formats?

A:  On all other formats, we could answer in our native tongue and answer  English, but tonight, we eat only Matzot. 


7  Q  If a hearing-impaired pupil is exempt from the Listening Passages, what do you do for a blind pupil?

A                 a)  You exempt him from the unseen passages.  

                   b) You provide him with an extra unseen passage.  It’s not going to get seen anyway.

                   c) You give him a job proctoring the New Bagrut Assessment.


8  Q  I have several yud- betters this year who are olfactorily challenged.

 A  What does that mean?

Q  They don’t smell.

A   Count your blessings.  So what’s the question?

Q  Will they get a time increment for the nasal passages?

A  That joke stinks.

Q  That’s funny, nobody ever mentioned it before.


9 Q How much is the implementation of all these changes going to cost anyway?

A  I’m sorry, but you’re not authorized to access that information.        

10 Q  Which modules, for G-d’s sake, will be offered next year? (Summer, 2004)?   . . .      Nu!??

A  Umm.  This issue is presently under discussion.  There will be an announcement at the forthcoming ETAI conference which will then be completely contradicted by the forthcoming Directory-General’s Bulletin.

You will definitely receive an answer by the forthcoming Winter, 2005.

Q  Thank you for being so forthcoming.


Note:  The following questions have been raised by teachers participating in the NBA courses.


10  Q  Hey, bruddas whass happnin?  Man! How come you all is so short?

A  You have the wrong practice session.  These are NBA English teachers, not NBA  basketballers.

Q Haven’t you done gots taaard ob dat old joke yet?


11  Q Why is there no coffee here?  In Mahar 98, we got coffee and a free meal and paid hours and a take- home laptop!!

A That was ‘Mahar’.  But ‘Mahar’ is  ‘Etmol.’  ‘Etmol’ is ‘Shilshom’.  The future is today!

Q If I can understand that, I can understand the New Bagrut.


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