About Naomi Epstein

Hello! I’m Naomi Epstein, a teacher and national counselor of English as a FOREIGN  language to deaf and hard of hearing students in Israel. I have been doing this for over 31 years.

I was born in Philadelphia, Penn., U.S.A,  then spent my elementary school years in  Brookline, Mass. When I was 11 years old I moved to Israel. Here I got my B.A in Education of the deaf, My B.E.D in EFL and my M.A in Curriculum Development. I published two coursebooks; “Apples and Zebras” (a beginners workbook) and “The Book of Keys” (for weak high-school students).

I currently work five days a week at Yehud Comprehensive High-School (though I began as an elementary school teacher) which has the largest program for deaf and hard of hearing students in a regular high-school in the country. On the sixth day I’m a Ministry of Education  national counselor, mainly for teachers of pupils who are mainstreamed. In addition I sometimes teach courses to struggling adult learners (with normal hearing!) striving to pass the English section of college entry exams. And on the seventh day, I rest!

My favorite way to rest is to read a book! I have recently taken up photography and focus on finding something new /interesting to snap in my familiar hometown and school. I post the school pictures here on this blog (under the category “Visualising School – A Photo Pause”) and my hometown pictures on my page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pounding-the-Pavement-in-Kiryat-Ono/283487235173863

I currently live in Kiryat-Ono, Israel,  with my husband and two sons.

27 thoughts on “About Naomi Epstein”

  1. If you would like to connect our classrooms, I am teaching World History this year and we just finished a unit on Israel! I am sure my students would love to meet other Deaf from around the world. During our studies I always try to bring in a bit of Deaf Culture and search for Deaf within the area.

  2. Isn’t that amazing that you just finished a unit on Israel and then I found your fascinating!
    lets discuss options for connecting students by email!

  3. Hi Naomi,
    I love your Puffin! Before coming into teaching I was a seabird biologist in the UK and have handled hundreds of these biting little treasures!
    Now I teach in a central London language school and also on a public housing estate in south London where my learners are immigrants & asylum-seekers. Some are illiterate or semi-literate in their L1 and my task is to teach reading and writing so they can progress to entry level classes. It’s slow but I enjoy it, and I’d love to share materials etc. with you if it would help.


    1. Clare!
      I saw this puffin “eyeball to eyeball” on Skellig Michael Island in Ireland!
      You definetly have your work cut out for you! I would love to swap info!

  4. I just subscribed to your blog. Am relatively new at this. I teach high school deaf kids in the U.S. and would love to connect with your students. (My daughter just returned from school in Israel)

  5. Dear Naomi

    On the ETNI list, I just found a new online collection of winter poems in English for all ages, from Gan to university level at:
    I thought you might want to share this with your students and your audience (before winter ends). There are also teacher resources with videos of a class lesson in writing poetry and elementary and high school students reading their own winter high school poems.

    I appreciate your resources.

    (I was formerly an EFL teacher in Jerusalem.)

    Best regards,

  6. Hi Naomi,

    My name is Anna Karkovska McGlew and I work for the AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington, DC (http://www.listeningandspokenlanguage.org/Default.aspx). I am currently researching to write an article for publication in our magazine, Volta Voices (http://www.listeningandspokenlanguage.org/Document.aspx?id=413), about learning a second/foreign language as a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. I am interested in your perspective and approach as a teacher; your insights on how your students learn English as a foreign language; your recommendations as far as accommodations for the students; speech reading in another language; your perspective on starting to learn a second language early in life as opposed to later if one is deaf or hard of hearing.

    I would love to hear from you and discuss ways that you can contribute your perspective and experience to the article.

    Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,


    1. Dear Anna,
      I read your post on Naomi’s blog and was very interested to hear about your article topic. I am studying a master’s in TESOL and I would like to some research into how the hard of hearing can (best be taught) learn English as a second language. I was wondering if you had any tips for me regarding literature or people that I could write to and ask for their experiences. I would really appreciate the help!

      Many thanks,


  7. Hello Naomi
    I teach at ORT Braude in Carmiel. We have a deaf student, and don’t know the best way to help him. Do you give workshops? Would you travel to Braude to guide us?

  8. Hi Naomi,

    I’m an Indian Christian. I still teach English to young people even after my retirement as a Principal.

    I appreciate your commitment to teach the hearing-impaired Israeli children.

    My wife, youngest son Jonathan and I pray for Israel. (Our other 4 children are married).

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you and your family.


      1. Hi Naomi,

        Thank you for your reply.
        Would you please introduce me to a few Israeli teachers, to be my friends? Pl give them my name and E-mail ID.
        Thank you.


  9. I am so happy that I found your website. I have been teaching deaf and hard of hearing students for almost 10 years now. I am still discovering and looking for some new ideas and find a great challenge and pleasure in teaching English to deaf students.
    I also can call my work – an experiment. I work at Siedlce University on Natural Sciences and Humanities in Poland. I hope that we can share some ideas.
    waiting for your reply Beata

  10. Dear Naomi,

    I am a special education teacher and I teach deaf and hearing impaired students English in Serbia.I have also involved my students in international project work – so they can use their English in international settings ( some examples can be seen at our project pages: http://www.aces128.blogspot.com – project about media literacy and http://www.facebook.com/differentsame – project on the topic of diversity). I am currently writing my magister thesis about teaching deaf students English and would appreciate your suggestions.
    Kind regards,

    1. How nice to hear from you Iva!
      I see you have visited My Key In the Apple Q/A blog. I hope you found it helpful.
      Are you planning to attend the International Congress on Education of the Deaf in Athens next July? We hope there will be talks on the subject there.
      I will write to you off blog so we can be in touch.

    2. Hi Iva,
      I can’t believe that you have chosen the same topic as me for a thesis! Currently I am trying to find literature on the subject but I am finding it very difficult. It would be great if you would write to me and let me know how you are getting on. Perhaps we could exchange some ideas.

      Best wishes,


  11. Hi Naomi,
    We talked at the ETAI conference. I’ve been following you and love your ideas. I was at your workshop and I promised to send you my “back to school ” power presentation. I used it with my 11th bright 5 pointers so as to make them understand what I believe in. It was a real success. How can I send it to you?
    English coordinator Gilo- Jerusalem

  12. Dear Naomi,
    I found you some time ago and I am really inspired by your ideas. I teach deaf and hard of hearing students at Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Poland. Where are you? Is it possible for you to come to Poland and share your wonderful experience with us. Please answer me on my email beatagulati@gmail.com

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