Prof. Ur, 69, was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Saturday for her work in the promotion of the English language. Buckingham Palace said that "Prof. Ur's fingerprints could be found in books, teaching methods and English education institutions all over the world."
Prof. Ur, better known as "Penny," was born and raised in Britain; but has spent the majority of her life in Israel, where she resides in Moshav Amnon in the Upper Galilee.
She first arrived in Israel for a short stay on a kibbutz as an Oxford Master's student. Since then and for more than three decades she has challenged educators to rethink what it means to teach a language, inspired generations of English teaching specialist as well as influencing English classrooms around the globe.
Ur said Saturday the her initial response was one of surprise and disbelief. However once she was convinced that she was, in fact, going to receive a nobility honor, she immediately expressed her gratitude for the decision.
The decision, she added, represents a recognition of the importance of promoting high quality English education.
British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould said that Prof. Ur has had an important role in fostering British-Israeli cooperation, adding that Britain views with great importance its relations with Israel and that such a title strengthens the two countries' ties.
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