‘Shared Education’ and translanguaging; students at Jewish and Arab schools learning English together

Dafna Yitzhaki*, Michal Tannenbaum, Elana Shohamy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports on a study that examined a Shared Education program recently implemented in Israel based on the Northern Ireland model. Sixth-grade children from two schools-one Jewish and one Arab, who study in separate education systems and have very limited contacts with one another-met to learn English (as an additional language) together. The study explored patterns of language use (English, Arabic, Hebrew) as well as the ways children perceive the meetings as an arena to meet ‘the others’ and their languages. Findings show that the shared education approach yielded rich interactions between the three languages, enabled open encounters with the ‘others,’ and allowed diverse teaching methods. The analysis of the lessons’ transcripts via a coding system developed specifically for this study revealed a complex pattern of translanguaging between the three languages that served specific pedagogical purposes and expressions of solidarity as well as situations of discomfort and concern vis-à-vis the ‘other.’ Results are discussed in terms of their contribution to the concept of translanguaging and its role in such complex education settings, as well as their practical implications for the role that Shared Education and contact can play in the promotion of tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1048
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Israel
  • Shared Education
  • conflict
  • tolerance
  • translanguaging


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