All pupils learning to read Hebrew must engage in Hebrew reading practice with vowels. The vowels make up a vital part of fluent Hebrew reading. It is important to do the hard yard of Hebrew reading practice with vowels. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for non-native speaker to be able to pronounce words correctly. The vowels will help with this.
Hebrew reading practice with vowels for beginners
A very good example of why it is important to ensure that a beginner makes sure that they are doing all the practice they is that of bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah pupils. I have been teaching this cohort for over 35 years (now I am showing my age!), and the majority of the pupils whom I have taught can only read very basic Hebrew.
There is no way an inexperienced Hebrew reader can start reading Hebrew text without vowels. When it is time to start learning their Torah portion it is more difficult, so It is extremely important that they spend the majority of their learning by making sure they can read fluently.
Practicing to ensure fluency!
The bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah pupil has put in the effort to make sure they engage in Hebrew reading practice with vowels. This way they will be ready to transition to the Hebrew text that does not have any vowels. This may prove challenging for some people, but I always tell them “they can go back to reading Hebrew with vowels until they feel more comfortable.
A common punchline that is delivered when asked “how do you get to Carnegie Hall” is practice, man, practice. The same can be said when asked how can I read Hebrew without vowels. Practice, man, practice could be the same answer, but, to practice with vowels. This will really help with fluency in reading.