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British textbook erases Israel
Ryan Jones, Israel Today, Dec 31 2012
A popular textbook used by institutions and teachers to teach English as a second language to students in the UK has been found to have a serious anti-Israel bias. “I teach English as a foreign language in a further education college in Nottingham, England. I came across the attached map and couldn’t believe my eyes!” Liz Wiseman told Israel Today. The textbook in question is “Skills in English Writing Level 1”, which includes a map of the Middle East on which Israel is nowhere to be found. While Wiseman acknowledges she was not obligated to use this particular textbook, it is one of the more popular and mainstream English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks published by one of the more popular and mainstream ELT publishers, Garnet Education.
Skills in English Writing – Level 1
Garnet Education, January 2013
In the last few days we have had a number of enquiries about a map of Israel included in Skills in English Writing – Level 1. Unfortunately the map was mislabelled ‘Occupied Palestine’. This was a serious editorial error and was subsequently corrected. The book in question has not been in print for several years. Please accept our sincere apologies for any offence caused but rest assured that this was a genuine mistake and in no way reflects any Garnet Education policy.
- Is this a new book?
No. This book is ten years old and has been out of print for several years.
- Are you going to correct the error?
The error was corrected shortly after the book was first published. The book has been out of print for several years and is no longer available.
- How widely used is the book?
The incorrect version of the book was published ten years ago and was quickly replaced by the correct version. Since this course has been out of print for some time and the lifecycle of educational materials tends to be relatively short (normally a maximum of five years), it is unlikely that very many institutions will be using the 2003 edition.
- Are you going to pulp stock of the book?
There is no stock to pulp as the book has been out of print for several years.
- Are you going to recall copies of the book?
There are very few institutions still using this book. We are in the process of tracking down as many as we can find, but the age of the book and the complexity of our distributor network makes it difficult to trace all users. If you have an incorrect copy please email your details to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to offer you a substitute.
- How did the mistake happen?
This mistake pre-dates the existing editorial team so it is difficult to understand exactly what happened. We have checked the manuscript submitted by the authors and this did not include the map or a brief for the map so the blame does not rest with them.