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The Medical School
for International Health

MSIH Students Find Common Language Teaching English at Umm Batin

23 Jan' 2017
MSIH Students Find a Common Language Teaching English in Umm Batin


By Mayss Abu Kaf and Aaron Hochman-Zimmerman


Languages connect people to each other. With a way to express our thoughts, we understand one another, joke with one another and learn to care for one another.


International medical students face substantial obstacles before they are ready to accept the responsibilities of working as a physician; yet, never leaving the books behind means spurning the chance to have a speaking role in the scenes of life that are playing all around us. Interacting with our neighbors is taking advantage of just one opportunity.


Many MSIH students have taken a few hours during their weekends to teach English to high school students in the Bedouin village near Beersheva called Umm Batin.


The high school students themselves are volunteers who use the less-formal English instruction to express themselves in a new language and in a way they normally would not do in their scheduled classes. Rather than diagraming sentences, the kids are learning to trust the volunteer teachers have become comfortable enough to perform skits, write songs and teach Arabic.


Language is a vehicle which carries creativity, concerns and contexts. Each week, the English and Arabic lessons accomplish their goals: we communicate, and because we communicate we have gained new friends who understand us. 

Jay Berkes and Priya Sayeen in Umm Batin.jpg