Intensive Modern Hebrew
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Taught in:
- Full Year
Prerequisite: familiarity with the Hebrew characters.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
- Fluency in reading and writing Modern Hebrew.
- Understanding and knowledge of basic Hebrew grammatical structures.
- Familiarity with and understanding of the Hebrew verb system.
- A working vocabulary of about 1300 words.
- An ability to understand a written text in basic modern Hebrew.
- An ability to converse in Hebrew about a variety of topics from everyday life, to history and culture.
WorkloadA total of 22 weeks teaching with 6 hours classroom contact per week. Students will be required to hand in written homework (exercises, written assignment) every lesson.
Scope and syllabus
Hebrew is set in its linguistic and cultural context, with special reference to the emergence of Israeli Hebrew and its historical and synchronic relationship to Classical and Diaspora Hebrew.
Intensive practice is given in oral skills to develop communication in a range of everyday situations and notions, notably self-presentation (family, locale, studies, outlook, leisure), getting about in Israel, and Jewish and Israeli lore and life-style. Language functions include:
- simple opinions,
- exchanging information,
- requests and preferences,
- apologies, compliments and warnings.
Equal value is given to morphology and syntax, with the emphasis on the colloquial. Attention is also paid to phonetic production.
Teaching is by intensive interaction between students in pair-work and groups, by live and taped presentations, and by intensive live drilling in morphology and pronunciation.
The emphasis is on contemporary Hebrew, making use of dedicated and authentic audio and video materials. Systematic attention is given to grammatical and pronunciation drills, with equal weight to the colloquial and to formal, with particular use of stories, songs and advertising jingles.
A linguistically graded, topic-related text book is used, supplemented by simplified newspapers and narratives and graded material from notes, notices and advertisements. The aim is to develop reading for gist as well as for accuracy.
The aim is to develop a variety of writing, ranging from simple tasks such as forms and informal notes to short essays and descriptions with systematic attention to morphology, syntax and spelling.
Method of assessmentWritten examination in May-June, testing reading and writing skills and knowledge of linguistic background (80% of the total mark); examination in oral competence and aural comprehension (10%); coursework (10%).
- Shlomit Chayat, Sara Israeli and Hilla Kobliner, Hebrew from Scratch, Part 1. Jerusalem 2000 [textbook]
- Lewis Glinert, Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar, Routledge [grammar and workbook]
- Joel M. Hoffman, In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language, New York 2004
- Oxford English-Hebrew Learner's Dictionary, Kernerman-Kahn, 1985