SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Hebrew 4

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2022/2023
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Full Year

This module is geared primarily to students returning from the year-abroad programme in Jerusalem, it develops oral, aural, writing and reading proficiency towards holding a serious conversation, comprehending unseen newspaper features and non-technical academic prose, and following scripted news broadcasts. Students will also be familiarised with a range of different registers, enriching their vocabulary and focusing semantics in relation to grammar.


Prerequisite: Hebrew University Hebrew level 4, Upper Intermediate Hebrew language or equivalent.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • A high level of proficiency in Modern Hebrew, both written and spoken.
  • An ability to understand written modern Hebrew texts in different media and on different subjects, from popular culture, through formal writing, to academic texts.
  • An ability to read newspaper articles and to follow news bulletins on TV and radio.
  • Confidence in using a wide-range vocabulary and the ability to suit the vocabulary to both context and register.


A total of 22 weeks teaching with 3-4 hours classroom contact per week. Students will be required to hand in written homework (exercises, written assignment) every lesson.

Scope and syllabus

Oral: Further intensive practice is given in defending a point of view. Students will also give oral reports on short articles on a range of topics relating to Israeli life and Jewish culture. Emphasis is on vocabulary enrichment and on the historical and cultural background of this vocabulary. Teaching is by an interactive approach. 

Aural: The emphasis is on deciphering radio and video broadcasts in a variety of major registers such as news, documentaries, sports commentaries, phone-ins, and by a variety of age groups and social types, highlighting distinctions in vocabulary and style. 

Reading: Students will concentrate on formal prose writing such as is found in the language of newspaper features and editorials and of non-technical academic texts. This will be supplemented with examples of the variety of Hebrew writing from contemporary Israel.

Writing: Further formal and informal letter writing, longer essays and descriptions -- with systematic attention to morphology, syntax and distinctions in sociolect and register. 

Language awareness: Substantial time is devoted to detached analysis of grammar and syntax, taking selected topics such as prepositions, negation, noun formation and the verb system and becoming familiarized with technical linguistic jargon and principles of scientific linguistic analysis.

Method of assessment

  • An oral exam (20%)
  • Written examination in May-June, testing reading and writing skills and analytical knowledge of selected major structures (80%)

Suggested reading

Basic bibliography:

The textbook used will be assigned at the beginning of the year from the books used at the Hebrew University and published by Akademon 

  • Lewis Glinert, The Grammar of Modern Hebrew, Cambridge U press, 1989 [technical description of syntax and morphology] 
  • Liora Weinbach & Edna Laudan, 2000+, Tel Aviv 1989 [illustrated vocabulary lists] 
  • Liora Weinbach and Edna Laudan, Rav-Milon [Multi-dictionary]. Tel Aviv 1993 Oxford English-Hebrew Learner's Dictionary, Kernerman-Kahn, 1985. 
  • Reuven Alcalay, Complete English-Hebrew Hebrew-English Dictionary, 1959/63 A Even-Shoshan, Ha-Millon he-Hadash, Kiryat-Sefer, 1966


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules