What did our Palestinian Teachers do during their Summer Holidays?

Diana and Shireen studied
‘Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching’

Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching

Mrs Abeer Hanna, LPJ Director of Education (centre), is understandably very proud of the achievements of her two teachers, Diana Basir (right) and Shireen Abed-ilfalah (left)


For nearly ten years Diana had been keen to enhance her leadership role in English teaching by obtaining a TESOL or equivalent qualification (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages). CNT arranged in 2014 for her to come to England to study for this at Lewis School of English but, despite everything being arranged, it proved impossible for her to obtain a visa. CNT tried again in 2021 using an online Lewis TESOL course but the timing proved impractical as her pupils were adjusting to returning to school after lockdown. Eventually, in July 2022, Diana was selected for an Amideast course to obtain her PCELT, the equivalent of TESOL. Amideast, www.amideast.org, is an American NGO organisation providing training courses in Ramallah. She was joined by Shireen and they both worked long days for a whole, hot month to complete the course. All credit is due to them and also their understanding and supportive families. This is a tremendous achievement which is richly deserved. Diana and Shireen are two of the outstanding teachers who have received training since 2013 through The English Project. Diana, already the LPJ English Supervisor, will welcome having Shireen’s support and advice.

Their commitment to the LPJ schools and their pupils is exemplary. Congratulations! Continue reading

CNT continues Online Teacher Training with Lewis School of English, Southampton

After the success of the CNT-funded Online Teacher Training programmes attended by ninety-five LPJ teachers last year, CNT has been encouraged by the enthusiastic response for this year’s Lewis School of English courses (www.lewis-school.co.uk). 

Abeer Hanna, LPJ Director of Education for Palestine, described these opportunities as “a light at the end of a very dark tunnel”. LPJ schools, as everywhere in the world, had to adapt rapidly to online learning during the pandemic. This was very hard and teachers rose as best they could to meet this unprecedented challenge. When, in January, Abeer presented her educational review to the virtual visit of the Holy Land Co-ordination Group, she identified lack of computer hardware and unavailability of broadband, compounded with a lack of digital expertise, as her priorities.

Online Teacher Training

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CNT supports an Iraqi Refugee School in Marka, Jordan

Abouna Khalil Jaar has created a safe home with his Messengers of Peace initiative in his parish in Marka, Jordan

When she was last in Amman, Margaret Waddingham, Chairman of CNT, visited two Iraqi Refugee Schools with lessons held in the afternoons in the LPJ schools at Marka and Hashemi after lessons for Jordanians had ended.

About 12,000 Iraqi Christians fled from ISIS to nearby Jordan in 2014. They are being sheltered in Jordanian parishes. As refugees, they are excluded from state education and health care and they are not allowed to work. They receive little international aid. Fluency in English helps with visa applications for better lives in Australia and Canada.

The LPJ schools offered their buildings to provide these most deserving Iraqi children with an education and a safe place in which to recover from the trauma of their flight from their homeland. Some of their teachers have attended CNT-funded training sessions and CNT promises to continue to help.

Fr Khalil, Bernard and Margaret join the afternoon assembly at Marka, Jordan

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CNT-Funded Online Teacher Training (March to July 2020)

Taking advantage of the newly launched innovative Online Teacher Training courses delivered by Lewis School of English in Southampton, CNT has been able to offer continuous professional development to many LPJ teachers throughout the lockdown caused by COVID-19.



March 2020 Helping Students with Pronunciation
8 Palestinian LPJ Teachers (covered in previous article)
May 2020 Getting Creative with Resources
21 Palestinian LPJ teachers including 2 from Gaza
May/June 2020 Helping Students with Pronunciation
9 Palestinian and 7 Jordanian LPJ Teachers
July 2020 Helping Students with Pronunciation
26 teachers, 1 from each LPJ school in Jordan
(This course is still in progress)

All these two-week courses required at least 5 hours per week of individual study, but the teachers spent considerably more time than this.

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A Cancelled Project but a Fresh Start with Online Teacher Training

Great plans were made for the CNT Team to return to the West Bank in March to provide training for teachers in conjunction with the first LPJ Education Conference in Ramallah. Flights and accommodation were booked and timetables were organised. However, on March 10, the Palestinian Health Authority ordered the cancellation of all conferences and workshops because of the threat of Coronavirus. The CNT team was fortunate in being able to cancel all their arrangements with the only cost being part of the airfares.

The pandemic of COVID-19 halted this training – but not entirely. CNT embarked on a new strategy of training LPJ teachers online.

Training in Palestine, 2019 - Catch the ball answer a question

Training in Palestine, 2019 – Catch the ball, answer a question

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CNT returns to Amman – November 2019

The CNT Team returned in November to complete the training of our third group of LPJ teachers of English in Jordan. Since their initial training in November 2018, these teachers had gained confidence in the new teaching methods and posted their lessons on a WhatsApp forum. The photographs below show a busy workshop on its first day.

For the next three days, the tutors travelled around Jordan observing the teachers in their classrooms. The tutors were very pleased with the innovative sessions they saw and the progress that these teachers had made. Continue reading