Hebrew is a 3000+ year old language. Yet, most Hebrew teachers make it hard to learn and retain. According to research less than 5% of those who study Hebrew in seminaries / Christian schools retain any of the language. My objective is to change the paradigm and to change the retention rate. Rather than teaching hundreds of paradigms I teach Hebrew through a handful of principles, high frequency vocabulary, and daily reading.
My objective for all Hebrew students is to read the text and not let grammar get in the way, for the rest of their lives!
Hebrew in 8 Principles
This is the "hardest part" of learning Hebrew, the alphabet.
Certain letters get a "belly button" which hardens the letter sound. (B vs V, P vs F)
Hav B Camel
The most common prefixes are the article, conjunction and a few prepositions.
Additions to Hebrew words clarify both Nouns and Verbs. However, if you do not know these additions, you'll not see the root.
I nearly failed Hebrew because of parsing verbs, until Dr. Jeff Griffin of NOBTS showed me this way to parse ALL strong verbs.
When Verbs aren't obvious in the Hezekiah principle, just remember Jonah's name! The letters reveal what happened. (weak verbs)
An easy way to recognize participles and Infinitives.
cohort, imperative, jussive
Reading for Life: The Hamilton System
James Hamiltion in 1829 espoused a new paradigm for learning languages, interlinear daily reading. This practice is now common among linguistic acquisition researchers. By reading interlinearly one can enjoy the text and have the translation at hand, vs spending hours thumbing through a lexicon. An issue often posed to me is that Hebrew students don't keep up reading, because it takes too much time. Interlinear reading keeps them in the text and exposes them to new words as they read.
Another result of interlinear reading is consistent exposure to the syntax and structure of the target language. If I were honest, my Hebrew and Greek skills only progressed when I started daily reading with an Interlinear app.
However, This method only works if the student is devoted to reading the target language, and then secondarily the english text. Furthermore, this method only works if the student learns the high frequency words of the target language.
Reading in Class
Hebrew 1: Genesis 37-50
We read through the Joseph story in Hebrew 1
Hebrew 2: Ruth & Jonah
We read through the story of Ruth and Jonah in Hebrew 2. We will also supplement with graduated readings from various Hebrew Genres.
High Frequency Vocab
All my students are required to learn the 200 most utilized words in the Hebrew Bible. I connect the words to already known biblical names, and english derivatives when applicable. The result is that they can pick up the above Hebrew Reader and handle the text, for the less common words are glossed at the bottom of the page.