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!

With their new credentials and experience, Diana and Shireen will continue to observe, support and mentor their colleagues. Best practice will be encouraged throughout the Palestinian LPJ Schools Network to the benefit of all their pupils. Quality assurance and evaluation is inbuilt into the structure of the LPJ educational system.


Other teachers trained in ‘English Phonics’

Fluency in English is a priority in Palestinian schools because it opens a world of opportunity to their pupils. Phonics (linking sounds and letters) is key to mastering confident speaking and reading skills and in the UK all Early Years children have daily phonic sessions. The Palestinian Education Department is keenly aware of the importance for an Arabic speaker of an early grounding in English phonics to master the intricacies and irregularities of the English language. 

English Phonics

English Phonics

The LPJ requested a pioneering course in English phonics and Amideast came up trumps once again. Diana arranged organisation on the ground even checking that the American tutor from Amideast had fluent British English! The 24 Kindergarten and Year 1 and Year 2 teachers from across Palestine were soon enthralled, engaged and enjoying themselves. The sessions were collaborative exercises rather than lectures. Enjoyment and engagement were the priority and will be of great advantage to the teachers’ young pupils, ensuring that they see learning English as fun. After thirty hours of training spread over two weeks, a confident group of teachers emerged keen and eager to incorporate phonics into their English teaching. The pupils will undoubtedly benefit.

CNT funded this high-quality training, using a generous donation from Canon John Harvey KHS and his parish of St Edmund of Canterbury and St Thomas More in Loughton.

English Phonics

Mrs Abeer Hanna thanked CNT for making this training possible. CNT thanks Canon Harvey and his parishioners. The young pupils in the LPJ schools will now be having a very different introduction to learning English!

English Phonics


More Teachers trained Online with ‘Lewis School of English’

Lewis Online Teacher Training continues to be a great success!

15 teachers – 4 week course ‘Student Centred Teaching’ in January 2022

Sabreen’s comments on Student Centred Teaching:
‘We can make activities fun without offering rewards by helping students to be intrinsically interested; by arranging activities that students are interested in; using technology more often; using new learning techniques once in a while; using students’ own ideas; motivating and encouraging them to participate for their own development’.


69 teachers – Three 2 week courses in April/May, June and August 2022:
‘Communicative Teaching and Activities’

Communicative Teaching and Activities

Abby, Tom (left, Lewis tutors) and Margaret on Zoom with three of the LPJ teachers


Last year, LPJ teachers suggested ideas for a new course and asked Abby Croucher, their Lewis tutor, to design a new online course. Communicative Teaching and Activities was the outcome. Following in the footsteps of the earlier groups of 52 Palestinian teachers in April/May and June, 17 Jordanian teachers enrolled on 22 August. Like their Palestinian counterparts, the Jordanians enthusiastically posted their comments online. After a few wobbly starts due to connectivity issues, which is often the case, their postings surged with comments, question cascades, Q&A using the Padlet format, the sharing of ideas, creative lesson formats and a final lively 90-minute Zoom after a fortnight of rich interactions.

This course is relevant, relatable and deals with real issues which the teachers share online. It offers an opportunity for those teachers who have participated in many of The English Project’s training projects to revisit, revise, renew and extend their abilities. There were several teachers from Gaza who were notable for their outstanding contributions. New skills and connections were acquired whilst everyone’s digital competence improved.

An example of the Padlet format

An example of the Padlet format


Eman from Jubeiha’s comments (29th August 2022):

Awesome! I loved the course so much. I enjoyed doing the tasks and sharing the ideas that I hope you liked them. The videos were interesting also’.


It has been my privilege and delight to monitor the exceptional online work of these teachers and to see their progress. Mrs Abeer Hanna says that term in Palestine has started well and, with these teachers primed to utilise every ounce of their recent training, it promises to be a most fruitful academic year. With the help, support and prayers of its generous benefactors, CNT will continue to help the young people of the Holy Land to have a brighter future.

Margaret Waddingham DGCHS, Chairman of Cambridge Nazareth Trust (CNT)