This feature is the fourth article in a series that celebrates the accomplishments of National Affiliates of the International Development in Europe Committee (IDEC) of the International Reading Association (IRA). Their member organizations’ activity reports are compiled twice a year (in January and July), and we have summarized excerpts from these reports. Visit www.literacyeurope.org
for more information and a list of national websites. Israel
The Israel Reading Association has fruitful alliances with the wide range of associations in Israel who have shared interests in literacy and reading: The Associations of Teachers of English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Ethiopian, Yiddish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Chinese; The Script Group for Language Tests; and The Center of Educational Technology. They continued to promote the research projects in the content area of “Mother Tongue and Second/Foreign Language Reading” in seven Teachers’ Colleges and five Schools of Education and through their Ministry of Education. The National Committee continued to examine Mother Tongue teachings both in Hebrew and Arabic. The Hebrew-Arabic Bilingual Reading Project (HARP) is developing very well and a new Bulletin of the National Academy for Arabic language was established. The 39th volume of the Journal of Teachers of Arabic in Hebrew-Speaking-Schools came out in January 2011. The 40th volume will be released in October 2011. The Association held many regional in-service conferences in 2011, including a conference on the topic of “Women in the Middle East” in Ramat Rachel in December 2010 with an attendance of about 260 members. They hosted a study tour of International Reading Association (IRA) members in November 2010 and the winter IDEC/FELA meeting in January 2011. (IRA members can read more about the IRA member delegation to Israel in the October/November 2011 issue of Reading Today.) Latvia
In the past year, Latvijas Lasīšanas asociācija, or the Latvian Reading Association (LatRA), organized seminars and workshops for teachers, parents, and school librarians on latest developments in children’s and youth literature and the implementation of critical thinking approach in the educational process at school. They participated in the Latvian radio programs on the development of literacy, joined in the Days of Book in March, and cooperated with the Latvian Association of Book publishers. They also participated in the LLP Grundtvig multilateral project “Create—Motivate—Learn” under the umbrella of the Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking International Consortium (www.cremole.eu
). The Association partners with the Education Development Centre to organize professional training courses for different target audiences aimed at developing the critical thinking skills and for further development of Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking program in Latvia. Visit www.iac.edu.lv
for more information about the Latvian Reading Association.
The Norwegian Reading Association (NoRA) arranged a seminar for teachers in Bergen in April 2011. The theme of the seminar was “English as a second language in dyslexic students,” and the English 2 Dyslexia test was presented. NoRA is planning a seminar for teachers in November 2011 with the theme “Computer writing–learning to read.” They publish the NoRA Bulletin twice a year and have Inter-Nordic cooperation and exchange bulletins. To learn more about NoRA, visit www.nora-les.no