Intensive Hebrew Language Session

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Students may take one level of Hebrew

HEB 5001: Introduction to Hebrew (6 credits)
HEB 5103: Advanced Beginner's Hebrew (6 credits)

The above courses will meet for seven weeks, from Tuesday, May 26, through Thursday, July 9, 2015.

HEB 5201: Intermediate Hebrew I (3 credits)
HEB 5203: Intermediate Hebrew II (3 credits)

The above courses will meet for six weeks, from Tuesday, May 26, through Thursday, July 2, 2015.

Courses are taught at the graduate level and meet three days every week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).

Students new to JTS, please (1) enter HEB 5001 on the Application Form, and (2) take the Hebrew placement exam (the exam will be sent to you after your completed application is received, reviewed, and accepted). The department will then place you in the appropriate class and your registration will be updated.

Please register for one Hebrew level only. Hebrew may be taken for credit only.

The Hebrew Help Desk will be available to all students twice a week from 1:30–3:30 p.m. for help in class assignments, reading, vocabulary and grammar practice, or conversation.

HEB 5001: Introduction to Hebrew, 6 credits
Hebrew Faculty, 8:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: Learning the Hebrew Alphabet Prior to Entering HEB 5001
If you are not yet familiar with the Hebrew alphabet and its diacritics (vocalization system), the Hebrew Department strongly recommends that, before the beginning of the session, you learn the alphabet and its pronunciation and vowel signs, as well as how to write in cursive, as you will be expected to have mastered the mechanics of reading and writing by the end of the second day of class.

Resources for learning on your own:

1. "Aleph Bet" and "First Steps" (free) software available on the Internet from the Hebrew University:

2. Booklet + CD called Alephbet Click (can be purchased from Israel Connection). 

3. CD (by Davka) at JTS language lab
In addition, beginner-level books and programs (e.g., Hebrew From Scratch (Ivrit min Ha'hatchala)—our textbook, Hayesod, Brandeis Modern Hebrew, and Ivrit be'Israel) have an instructional unit on the alphabet.

This course will cover the textbook Hebrew from Scratch (Ivrit min Ha'hatchala) through chapter 12, supplemented by additional (parallel) readings and exercises and an accompanying CD. While emphasizing contemporary modern Hebrew, this textbook also contains samples of biblical and post-biblical Hebrew.

By the end of the semester, students are expected to have an active mastery of 500 words (plus numbers 1–200) and be able to comprehend, answer questions, and summarize simple (unvoweled) dialogues, narrative, and informative texts, as well as read them aloud with fluency and accuracy. In grammar, students will learn the infinitive and present tense forms of frequently used strong and weak verbs in the active binyanim, the basics of the noun system (singular and plural, construct phrases), the forms of simple adjectives, some primary adverbs, and several common prepositions. They will understand and be able to form impersonal and nominal sentences, object and cause clauses, and interrogative sentences. The course will include sessions in the Hebrew language lab. It is recommended that students enter with knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet and its vowels.

HEB 5103: Advanced Beginner's Hebrew, 6 credits
Hebrew Faculty, 8:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
This course will selectively cover the second volume of the textbook Hebrew from Scratch (Ivrit min Ha'hatchala) and will continue to develop the vocabulary and grammar knowledge as well as reading comprehension and oral skills targeted in the first volume of the textbook. Special attention will be given to dictionary look-up skills.

Students will read, listen to, and discuss texts on topics of social and cultural interest in different genres—informative, literary, and narrative—and different historical registers. Materials for independent reading will be available from the class's "lending library." Regular writing and/or oral assignments will provide the opportunity to recombine and utilize old and newly learned vocabulary and structures. Reading aloud of unvoweled texts will be practiced in class and in the Hebrew language lab. The grammatical component of the course comprises, in morphology, the possessive noun suffixes and inflected forms of the most common prepositions, and in syntax, purpose, cause and effect and concession sentences, temporal clauses, object clauses, and nominal and possession sentences in the past and future. Verb system items (all active binyanim in three tenses) will be integrated in the study of vocabulary and reading comprehension tasks. Due to the intensive nature of the course, whose overall goal is to prepare students for the study of Hebrew at the intermediate level, students should expect at least one hour of homework per hour of classroom instruction.

HEB 5201: Intermediate Hebrew I, 3 credits
Hebrew Faculty, 8:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
The objective of the course is to develop reading comprehension of modified theme-based, mostly expository texts in modern Hebrew, with special attention to the acquisition of academic vocabulary. Word attack skills, dictionary look-up and syntactic parsing strategies, as well as Hebrew-to-English translation skills, will be practiced. To promote reading fluency, level-appropriate readings (newspaper and magazine articles and short stories) will be assigned weekly for independent reading outside of class. Students will also practice listening and give short presentations on familiar subjects. Grammatical topics will include noun and adjective morphology, the passive binyanim and a review and consolidation of the weak verb paradigms and inflected prepositions. In-class work will be supplemented by multimedia activities in the Hebrew language lab.

HEB 5203: Intermediate Hebrew II, 3 credits
Hebrew Faculty, 8:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
This course aims to provide training in using linguistic information in the text as clues to meaning so that students can read expository and narrative modern Hebrew with comprehension, accuracy, and at a reasonable speed, as well as translate accurately from Hebrew to English with the aid of a dictionary. The reading selections—both modified and authentic texts (e.g., newspaper and encyclopedia articles)—will cluster around topics of Israeli and Jewish culture and history and will be supplemented thematically by premodern texts. Independent readings, to be prepared outside class, will be assigned as well. Special emphasis will be given to vocabulary expansion through both readings and root study. Language lab sessions will be devoted to the development of Hebrew computing skills such as typing, searching the Internet, dictionary look-up, and browsing and reading webpages. Grammar instruction will focus on sentence types (e.g., conditional sentences) and other grammatical and semantic phenomena encountered in the readings.