How to choose the correct method for learning Hebrew

Simple question – but no one, simple answer that we can give that applies to everybody who wants to learn Hebrew. Choosing the best Hebrew learning system for you requires a number of steps.


Step 1: Why do you want to learn Hebrew? If you just want to be able to talk to people, a conversational Hebrew course could fit the bill. If you need Hebrew for work or because you are maybe making Aliyah, so you may need to know how to read and write the language.


Step 2: How much time can you spare or are prepared to spend leaning Hebrew? Are you restricted in terms of when you can take a course or even where? It’s no good enrolling for a course if you can’t manage the class schedule or that takes too much travelling time.


Step 3: Are you prepared to do homework? Yes, homework. Whatever anybody tells you homework, even if not a lot, is an essential part of learning any foreign language including Hebrew. How much homework does the course you’re considering give? Do they offer help when you need it?


Step 4: Are you sufficiently motivated to complete the course? Be honest with yourself because paying for a course and then dropping out halfway through is just a waste of your time and money?


Step 5: Does the Hebrew language course you’re considering meet all your requirements? How many courses do they offer? Do they advise you on what would be the best program for you? Are they flexible allowing you to choose the courses or even allowing you to change courses in mid-stream?


Does the course allow you to maximize progress by tapping into your learning skills and abilities?

Can you keep up with the homework requirements? Can you get extra help if needed?

Does the course work seem interesting or is it boring?

What materials does the course provide – workbooks, textbooks, info packages? Does it use audio-visual aids and multimedia?

If you miss a class, will you get help to catch up or will you just have to do the best you can?

Apart from language studies, does the course also give you an insight into Jewish and Israeli history, culture and society? This is so very important because in order to fully understand the language, you have to know something about the society and the people – otherwise it’s like rote learning.


Step 6: Cost – yes it’s a shame but the cost is also something you have to consider. But not in terms of most expensive or the cheapest course. Rather, look at all you need and want from a Hebrew course and compare it with what the course offers. Are you getting value for your money? Do you feel that you’re getting a lot more than you thought possible?


Step 7: The final decision – it’s a very personal decision affected by many different considerations. But when you finally choose the course you feel is the very best for you, stick to it. There will be ups and downs but with motivation and perseverance, by the time you finish, you’ll be able to use Hebrew, maybe not like a native born Israeli, but well enough to feel comfortable and confident.

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