English Teaching and other odds and ends


I have been teaching English in Jerusalem, Israel for the last 28 years or so. I have taught all levels and all ages from adults at the Foreign Ministry to pre-schoolers who have never been exposed to English before. Most of my teaching, though, has concentrated on high school students at the Mae Boyar High School.

Besides actual teaching, I write articles to be used as teaching aids, create activities, exercises, crossword puzzles and so on. I directed a pre-reading preparation program in primary schools and co-directed an extensive program of involvement in the Central Galilee region till 2008. I have  been a senior matriculation examiner for many years. I give workshops from time to time, and have  co-written (with Sue Kerman) an English teaching course book called CHOICES (ECB) for high school - Proficience Level: stage 1. I am presently entering my sabbatical year (2009-10) and have started working in the field of English Language Arts Assessment and Evalution.

This page is organized very simply : link + description

On this site I will be attempting to do do three things:

1. Provide links to material I have created and have found useful when teaching English.

2. Provide a virtual learning center for my own students to interact with me.

3. Open my door to other teachers so I can learn from them and they can learn from me.

I hope you find the site enjoyable and useful,

Jack Pillemer.
Site last updated October  2009

P.S. Once there used to be a guest book which I enjoyed looking at from time to time to see who had dropped by. However that has been dropped so feel free to send me an email   jackpil@013.net  so I know you have paid a visit.

This page is organized very simply : link + description. Click on one of the following links below to move on. 

   Romeo and Juliet

This site has been created to aid teachers and pupils at Boyar High School in Jerusalem who are dealing with the play. Of course anyone else is welcome to visit and use the ideas/links/chat facilitues/forms etc that are available. Send me aditional ideas and I will happily add them to the site. Thanks to Shlomi (Snunit) and Gail Mann (ETNI)who have helped me create the site. Students write-This is a link to some creative writing done by Grade 11 pupils inspired by Romeo and Juliet. 

Lyrics Project   

This is a new project (1999) for high level students from grade IX up to native speakers. Students are asked to find songs with lyrics they like, translate them, refelect on the process of translation, analyse the lyrics and focus on the words/ phrases that have special personal appeal. They are then asked to do some creative writing around the lyrics and to assess their own work.You will find links to projects that have been done by students and been put up on the net. Take a look and tell me what you think.

English Teacher as civic educator. The English class - a lot more than English!

This is a link to material created for a workshop given in Jerusalem on the 5th of March 2006. The workshop attemted explore how the printed media can be used in teaching the concepts associated with elections and the democratic process as well as the English vocabulary that accompanies them. The aim of the link is to provide the participants [and anyone else who is interested] with access to all the worksheets that were used in the workshop so that they can be used as models for similar work.

  English through Art - a project for the upper grades

The project requires students to find famous pieces of art, examine them carefully, describe what they see, do research on one of the artists and the art movements influencing the artist, place the painting in its historical perspective and finally create something personal related to the painting. Oct. 2003

Theoretical paper on the use of e-mail in English teaching

This paper was presented in the form of a workshop at the ETAI (English Teachers Association of Israel) Conference, July 1997.
For a shortened version of the same paper in

Dead Poets' Society

Using the film for teaching literature as well as for general discussion of the issues raised in the film.?

Time for a laugh

This link will lead you to a number of very funny pages. Most of them can be used to add some sparkle to a lesson.

Reporting on Community Service "Mehuyavut Ishit" - a New Curriculum Project for Grade X -

The project requires pupils to use Powerpoint and to give an oral and written presentation about their volunteer work within the community. The project has worked very successfully in my class at Boyar High school (2003). I have created a Word document which describes the full procedure including the rationale drawn from the New Curriculum as well as checklists, forms and reflection pages. Take a look.

Setting up English Rooms for Primary Schools in Netanya - A detailed report on the Rashi Fonndation Project 

My Work with the Jerusalem Post Youth Magazines  and Jerusalem Post  LITE  [ simplified English for adults]

Over the years as a freelancer, I have written articles, created crossword puzzles, created games, activities and exercises, written teachers' guides , acted as a consultant and given workshops. The workshops are aimed at sharing ideas about how a youth magazine/newspaper can be used very effectively in a formal teaching environment.

 Teaching English through Content-based instruction (CBI) focusing on Civics

This link used to take you to a site I created inspired by a 6 week study course on the subject at Ohio University, Athens, USA during the summer of 1999. The usefulness of CBI and the vital role for all teachers, including English teachers, in preparing pupils to be "good citizens" is the main focus. Now the link merely takes you to material I liked from the site and it has just been placed here so I do not lose it.  

Holocaust Memorial Day Activity for upper grades

This link will lead you to a page with quotes that relate to the Holocaust and two suggestions on how to use them.

MECA - Middle East Children Association

For a few years now, I have been a participant in a group of Israeli and Palestinian English teachers who see education as vitally important to encouraging and accompanying peace in our region. We meet, talk, argue, listen, learn and give support to each other as human beings caught up in this conflict. We get to know each other and, as professional educators, we try to plan English-teaching classroom activities that may encourage pupils on both sides of the conflict not to de-humanize the other.

UPDATE: Since 2007 I have not been actively involved in MECA.  I have attended IPCRI conferences in the last 2 years

Boyar High school English site

This is a link to the Boyar High School English site. To a large degree, it has has become a continuation of this site since the free space from Geocities is full. Please feel free to browse the site and use whatever you find useful.

Virtual Visitor Project     

This project and was decided upon because it is simple to carry out and yet has unlimited potential for English teaching.An English speaker living outside Israel,  whom I refer to as “the virtual visitor”– in most cases an adult but not necessarily so – writes a simple email  letter of approximately 10-15 sentences addressed to a specific English class. The letter is sent to the English teacher of the class who then uses the text of the letter in numerous ways to bring the "outside English world into the classroom".

Recanati-Chais-Rashi Award for the Entrepreneur Teacher

In 2004 I was honoured to be the recipient of this prize. By and large the materials up on this site - the ideas and methodology as well as the concept of sharing different projects and iniatives was considered to be innovative. The link above leads you to an English description of the Recanati-Chais-Rashi Award for the Entrepreneur Teacher. Here is a link to description(in Hebrew)of my iniative and the reason it was chosen

  • Jack Pillemer's Initiative -If you are doing something interesting in teaching or you know of someone else who is, go to site and get more information.

 English Teachers' Award 2008 - Runner Up

This link leads to the announcement of the winners and runners up of the The English Prize awarded by the Inspectorate in 2008. I'm pround to have been a runner up. "The Chief Inspector for English Language Education, recognizes dedication and excellence in teaching. The teachers who were chosen as recipients have made extremely valuable contributions, both to classroom teaching and to the broader Israeli EFL community. Their work reflects dedication, professionalism and inspiration and is worthy of emulation."

  Interview for ESL CAFE on English-test.net

 A little while back I was contacted by one of the editors the ESL CAFE at www.english-test.net and asked if I would give an interview with regard to my work in English teaching. Here is that interview.

M.A. Dissertation - a study of the Lyrics Project

Submitted in part fulfillment of degree of Master of Arts in Applied English Language Studies ? Department of English Languages and Literature, University of Liverpool, UK. July 2004.
Understanding Motivation: student response to a song lyrics project.
An examination of the motivational elements of tasks within a specific EFL project, The Lyrics Projects ? as perceived by Israeli students and teachers, and the implications of the findings for creating motivating EFL tasks. Pillemer, J.
This link leads you to the ABSTRACT and from there to the full dissertation.


I would like to thank David Lloyd, founder of ETNI, for inspiring me to move into a new realm of English teaching and allowing me to host this site on ETNI when free hosting on  Geocities closed down (October 2009)

I would also like to thank Avraham Loborbaum for encouraging me to take steps bigger steps in computer-related teaching many years ago .

  •  Please note that the  address below has replaced all the other addresses that you might find on the site.
    Email me at

                Jack Pillemer



































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