The Israel Association for Literacy and Language

Promoting research and education in written and oral language

The Israel Association for Literacy and Language (Script) aims to promote the study of all aspects of literacy and to empower literacy education in Israel. The association members include academics and educators working in a range of areas, as well as teachers, teacher trainers, psychologists and speech / language clinicians. The association members are interested in literacy, they research its various facets and work to make it accessible to their students and clients, and to the public in general. For the last 20 years the organization has held annual Israeli conferences in the summer, and in the last three years additional workshops have been held at Tel Aviv University in the winter.

Research areas include the following, among others: linguistic knowledge and language awareness, language acquisition and development, second language learning, spoken and written language, listening and observation skills, Hebrew language research, reading and writing disabilities, literacy in the learning disabled, discourse analysis, discourse and culture, emergent literacy, literacy and technology, language and literacy policy, academic literacy, literature theory and criticism, evaluation of literacy roles.

The Israel Association for Literacy and Language – is involved in six main academic activities:
⇨ Two-day annual conference in the summer
⇨ Winter workshop
⇨ Spring workshop
⇨ Academic journal
⇨ Special interest groups
⇨ Interactive online website

Annual summer conferences. The Israel Association for Literacy and Language's main academic activity consists of its 2-day summer conference. These successful summer meetings have always been organized by the association volunteers and are usually held in hotels, enabling social and professional interaction between researchers. The association's summer conferences serve as an excellent platform for the dissemination of knowledge through presentation of current research. Conference participants are lecturers and researchers from universities, colleges and teachers’ colleges, educational policy leaders, supervisors and curricula developers, as well as teachers with key positions in the Israeli Ministry of Education. The annual conference has proved as an excellent framework for the promotion of knowledge exchange and cooperation with international figures such as Bereiter, Scardamelia, Spencer and Obler who have presented keynote talks to the assembly and organized workshops. The involvement of guest lecturers of both international and Israeli affiliations attracted many participants to our conference and fostered a productive dialogue between Israeli and foreign researchers. The association’s executive committee hopes to see these exchanges and connections deepen and expand, and will encourage initiatives in these directions.

Academic journal. Script Journal, an academic vehicle concerned with all aspects of literacy, was launched in 1999. It publishes articles which have undergone peer review and enables the dissemination of current, updated knowledge in the domain of literacy to an audience of researchers, students, educators, curriculum developers and other interested readers.

Winter Workshop. Since 2002 our association has held winter workshops with talks by experts devoted to a single topic during Chanukka at Tel-Aviv University. The topic in 2002 was Language, literacy and education – empirical and academic reports. In 2003 Winter The Israel Association for Literacy and Language focused on reading processes and reading comprehension. In 2004 our workshop was devoted to reading processes and reading disabilities and Professor M. Joshi, editor of Reading and Writing, was the invited keynote speaker. The Israel Association for Literacy and Language members participate in our conferences and workshops for a reduced fee.

Spring workshops. We held a third meeting this year at Bar Ilan University in the spring, which was devoted to matters of punctuation and spelling. This meeting had high media visibility with consequent TV interviews of participants.

The Israel Association for Literacy and Language site. A dynamic, informative, communicative and interactive web site which functions as a virtual arena and a communication vehicle. The website is intended for the association members, academics and practitioners working in the field of literacy, students, and people interested in literacy and looking for relevant information and activities. The site contains information about the activities of The Israel Association for Literacy and Language, detailed profiles of members, information about the journal, an array of articles from the journal, book reviews, links to additional relevant sites, pictures, etc. The site contains ESCRIPT, an electronic academic content section with articles, abstracts of MA theses and doctoral dissertations in the domain of literacy, abstracts of talks and presentations from The Israel Association for Literacy and Language conferences, etc.

Special interest groups. Several members of The Israel Association for Literacy and Language are associated in three special interest groups: Academic Literacy, Literature Theory and Criticism, and Literacy and Technology. The Academic Literacy SIG has published 5 issues of the Forum for Academic Literacy to date.