How to learn in Hebrew

How to learn in Hebrew

As a little girl I grew with Hebrew all around me. My father was working as rabbi when I was growing up, so Hebrew was everywhere. However, I cannot say that I knew how to learn in Hebrew. I attended an English-speaking primary school and high school. So, whilst I was in school, I did know how to learn in Hebrew.

Learning Hebrew in Israel

It wasn’t until I was 17 years old that I visited Israel to learn Hebrew. I was studying Hebrew for my Higher School Certificate, so my father enrolled me in a Kibbutz Ulpan. An ulpan is a program in Israel that teaches students Hebrew, in Hebrew. English is not spoken in the classroom.  So, for the first time ever, I really started to know how to learn in Hebrew.

It was quite strange only learning Hebrew in Hebrew. As all my Hebrew classes in high school had a lot of English being spoken, it was weird going into a classroom where there was only Hebrew being spoken. I think there are benefits to having both English and Hebrew being used to teach a second language.

However, it all depends how a person adapts to being “thrown into the deep end”. If a student needs the backup of hearing something in English, it is helpful to have a combination of both.

Do a course in the Israeli Army!

Another way to become fluent in Hebrew is to spend three months in basic training in the Israeli army. I did that, and I finished the course speaking Hebrew fluently! The full three months the sergeants who were in charge, only spoke Hebrew. That is 18 hours hearing and speaking Hebrew for 3 months. That is the best way how to learn in Hebrew, being immersed in it!

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