Advocacy strategies for a new multilingual educational policy in Israel

Michal Tannenbaum*, Elana Shohamy, Ofra Inbar-Lourie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Advocacy strategies are characterized by collaborations amongst various stakeholders working together to create changes and reforms. In language education policy, this refers to various types of initiatives and activities intended to create language policy reforms on local and/or national levels. In this paper such activities are traced, analyzed and evaluated in relation to language education policies in Israel spanning over 20 years in two points in time, in 1996 and 2016. In 1996 the advocacy acts resulted in the first national educational policy to be introduced in Israel, and in the second led to a call for proposals by the Ministry of Education for research and subsequently the development of a new expanded multilingual educational policy. The call addressed the need to expand the language repertoire of school students to learn additional languages, beyond Hebrew, throughout their school years, viewing immigrant languages as significant resources and encouraging their maintenance, exposing students to various world and community languages, as well as improving the ways Arabs and Jews learn the languages of the other (e.g., Hebrew and Arabic). The paper describes the various advocacy strategies that preceded the acceptance of both policies, dwelling specifically on the creation and impact of a policy document submitted by a collaborative consortium of language policy experts to the Ministry of Education. The paper concludes with analysis of the relative and cumulative impact of advocacy strategies and ends with a call to broaden the perspective of advocacy and advocacy literacy, and recognize a much wider group of bodies, roles, and individuals as possible ‘advocates’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-573
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Advocacy
  • Engaged language policy
  • Hebrew
  • Israel
  • Language policy
  • Multilingual education policy


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