Hebrew reading worksheets: a simple and fun way to learn!

I use Hebrew reading worksheets when I teach people to read Hebrew.  This is a great way to consolidate learning for a person who has had very limited exposure to the Hebrew letters and vowels. The Alef Bet, otherwise known as the Hebrew alphabet, is a completely different text from anything else in the world.

Hebrew reading worksheets

I know that some people balk at the idea of using Hebrew reading worksheets for a variety of reasons. For some people, it takes them back to their primary school days when they sat in the classroom completing worksheet after worksheet. They had limited interaction with the teacher and were often left to their own devices.

 However, Hebrew reading worksheets definitely have a place in students’ journey when learning the Alef Bet and progressing on to learn Hebrew words. It is essential to understand, either as a teacher or a student, that everyone learns in different ways. One model of learning does not suit everyone.

Four different learning styles

As part of my role as a trainer, I have done research on the different styles of learning. Neil Fleming, an educator from New Zealand, came up with the concept that students learn in four different ways: visual learning, auditory learning, learning by reading text, and kinaesthetic learning, known as VARK. Whilst a learner may have a preference for one of these, everyone uses all four modalities.  

In the age of technology, it is easy for a learner to determine his or her preferred learning style.  All you need to do is do a Google search for a VARK questionnaire. Once you find the link to the questionnaire, it takes about ten minutes to complete. It is useful as it will inform you of your preferred learning style, and you can let your teacher/trainer know what works best for you.

Using VARK when learning Hebrew reading

When you embark on your Hebrew learning journey, I recommend that you conduct a VARK test (it’s free online!). VARK is an essential tool for understanding how you learn best. By being in tune with your learning style, it will be much easier to learn to read Hebrew and gain fluency quickly. Now, I want to break down these learning styles and how you can use them on your Hebrew reading journey.

If you are a predominantly ‘visual’ learner, then reading text about each letter and vowel will work for you. One way to do this is to utilise any visual materials that the teacher provides. If you are an auditory learner, then listening to the teacher/trainer will be the most appropriate way to learn. Another option would be to find videos that provide an auditory component to them (most do this).

If you prefer to read, I recommend that you find a Hebrew reading program that provides written material that you can refer to, either during or after the lessons. Finally, kinaesthetic learners love to learn by ‘doing something’. When learning to read Hebrew, kinaesthetic learners will do well using flashcards or Hebrew reading worksheets.

Learning the patach vowel when using Hebrew reading worksheets 

As I mentioned earlier, you can find out what type of learner you are by taking the VARK test. However, we all use all the modalities when we learner, just some are stronger than others. Interestingly, the online Hebrew program, www.easylearnhebrew.com, teaches people to read Hebrew by utilising all these ways of learning. I think it was designed with VARK in mind!

The VARK method is used throughout this program. However, one example is the patach vowel. In the program, there is a video with the teacher teaching the vowel. The video caters to the visual and auditory learner. In the tutorial section, the learner will find a written explanation of how to learn this vowel as well as a cartoon vowel. Here is written material in the tutorial section, with a cartoon.

The written material caters to the learner who prefers to read, and the cartoons cater to the visual learner. Finally, the learner can download the patach flashcard, and Hebrew reading worksheets. The goal is for the learner to gain fluency in and to learn Hebrew words. Alphabet worksheets are important to help the learner to familiarise oneself with the Hebrew characters.

What next?

Okay, you have determined your optimum learning style and found the right course or program to suit your needs. Most importantly, you have learnt to read Hebrew. Fantastic! However, what comes next? It’s one thing to be able to read, but it is another to maintain your fluency and engage in regular reading practice.

This reminds me of the Carnegie Hall joke. Whenever a tourist asks a ‘Carnegie Hall’ local how they get to Carnegie Hall, the reply is always “practice.” The same can be applied to practising Hebrew. How does one become fluent and then maintain fluency? The answer is one word: practice. As with anything, practice is required on a regular basis.

If you can, find someone to practice with. It makes it more fun, and it is definitely easier to practice with a human being! Whatever you do, make sure, when you practice, you read out loud, not silently to yourself. As I ask my pupils when you were five years old, did you read English to yourself or out loud? Invariably, the answer is always “out loud”. The same applies to Hebrew reading practice, too!  

 Set your sights high!

I implore you not to settle for the ‘basics’. Aim to read complex text; but only do this once you have achieved your simple goals first. But, it always helps to have a bigger goal in mind!


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