At some point in a person’s life, everyone starts with beginner Hebrew. However, the concept of beginner Hebrew may not apply to a person born in Israel. As with any other person born in any country, the language they speak in everyday life is absorbed from the moment they are born. Therefore, this phrase only applies to people who do not speak this language as their mother tongue.
The next question that comes to mind is, how do you learn beginner Hebrew? The first step for anyone is to learn the Hebrew alef-bet, or, as we say in English, the Hebrew alphabet. Some people buy an alef-bet chart to stick on their wall to help them remember each character. They initially might download a printable PDF before they buy a more expensive one.
Learn beginner Hebrew
Being able to master beginner Hebrew is very important when starting out with your Hebrew reading. In my experience, the teacher needs to lay the foundation for accurate pronunciation at the beginning. If accurate pronunciation is taught correctly in the early stages of learning to read this language, then it will stand the pupil in good stead as they progress onto the more difficult text.
If a person asks me where a beginner can learn biblical or modern Hebrew, I will advise them that it depends on how old you are! I am not being ageist, but so many options are available to different age groups! For children, there are a few ways to learn Hebrew as a child starting afresh. These include attending a Jewish Day School or Hebrew and Religion School on Sundays.
However, if a child is in a regional or remote area, or prefers learning at home by themselves, then an online learning course may be the solution! With this rise of online learning, this has become quite commonplace for children to choose this option. It is a game-changer as they can come home from school, have afternoon tea, play sport, then later that evening, logs into their online program, Easy Learn Hebrew.
Hebrew ulpan is another option for a beginner to learn Hebrew. However, there are a few limitations. Firstly, a student needs to be over the age of 18 and needs to be able to travel to Israel to participate in this course. Most places around the world do not have an ulpan in the city or town. This can prove to be an expensive option!
However, if a person chooses to learn Hebrew by attending an Ulpan in Israel, it can be an exciting experience. One option is for the person to go to a Kibbutz Ulpan (which I did many years ago). Although it does cost to attend, you can apply for subsidies and accommodation and food are usually included! The upside is you can also experience life on a kibbutz!
The other option is to attend an ulpan in one of the main cities, like Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Learning in a city ulpan is a different experience from that of a kibbutz. It could be a good option if you need to work in Israel and attend classes at night. However, it also means that you must pay rent somewhere, buy your own food and pay for transport to get to the classes.
If you cannot afford to go to Israel (as many people cannot), you can find a class in your own city. Whatever option you choose, I suggest you have access to a good dictionary and take the opportunity to improve your writing. You might need to purchase a basic one. You may also start to learn writing in Hebrew, and most likely, you will learn cursive Hebrew, which is common these days.
If you do not have a Hebrew class nearby, you can do what the kids do, enrol in an online program! It is handy as you can access the materials via your iPhone or Android phone. You can potentially share it with your family. It is easy to subscribe to an app. I’m sure Hebrew is not the only language course online. Languages such as Spanish, Italian and Greek may also be available.
If you decide to purchase an online program, you need to check the number of IP addresses can have access to it. Also, you should check if it includes worksheets or a workbook that you can download. Will it teach to read with a vowel (or vowels), or without vowels? These are important considerations when making your decision.
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