FAQ | שאלות נפוצות
What is Hebrew Our Way? Is it a curriculum program?
Hebrew Our Way is an instructional approach that is not exclusive to any set curriculum or method. Instead, it is a set of professional language acquisition skills and provides a significant level of up-to-date language teaching knowledge. Once you understand the fundamental concepts and principles and begin to apply them, you will be able to competently assess your students' abilities and navigate their changing requirements. This is one of the hardest things for people to wrap their head around, but once you do, you can be a more powerful, flexible, and confident language instructor.
So we can keep using our current classroom materials? We have already invested a lot of time and money.
It's quite possible. If you are finding them helpful, many of your existing materials may well continue to provide value even after you learn to apply the HOW Functional Proficiency Approach, including stories, video clips, poems, grammar exercises, picture vocabularies, and many other items.
In fact, we can teach you how to get even more out of these prepared items by understanding them from a functional perspective. HOW's approach gives you more power to leverage prepared materials -- together with "authentic" materials of your own choosing -- to get your students moving up the proficiency scale.
What are these "authentic" materials I keep hearing about?
A major component of the FP Approach is to stimulate, motivate, and acclimate students to using excerpts from real-life language items, at real-life speeds, while they are learning. These can be recipes, shopping lists, verbal directions to get to the shul, a piece of davening, a bar mitzvah invitation, a poem, a song, or a story, a video clip about hashgachah protis, or an advertisement for a wedding caterer. Language learners interact with one another and with authentic language to learn how to speak, write, listen, and read on a steadily increasing level of competency. You'd be surprised at what your learners can do when they are properly guided and prepared.
Is Hebrew Our Way an "immersion" program?
If immersion means "throwing them in the water so they learn to swim", then the answer is no. While lots of meaningful language exposure is certainly key, we know that language acquisition takes place through a specific process that can be effectively facilitated even in a classroom that is not "Ivrit b'Ivrit". This is true especially at the Novice and Intermediate levels. Bottom line: there are many factors to student success, and they need to be balanced and intentionally designed by a knowledgeable teacher for best results.
Who should take the Intro Course in Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language?
Anyone who wants to understand how to teach Hebrew more effectively: current and new school and yeshiva teachers, administrators and Hebrew department coordinators, tutors, adult educators and outreach professionals, and home schoolers.
How much Hebrew do you have to know for the Hebrew Teaching course?
The Intro Course in Teaching Hebrew as a Second Language is taught in Ivrit. An advanced understanding of modern Hebrew is needed; however, if your speaking skills are little rusty, that's okay. If you are teaching Hebrew as a language on any level, or feel that this course will benefit you as an instructor, feel free to reach out to see if it's a fit.
I teach a Hebrew subject, but spoken Hebrew is not a focus for me or my school.
We have seen that Limudei Kodesh instruction can benefit from the Functional Proficiency as a skills-based approach as well. In fact, Hebrew Our Way consults in several institutions for just this purpose. Plus, from time to time we offer an intro course in applying functional principles to Limudei Kodesh teaching. It includes a brief overview of language learning concepts plus practical examples and guidance in breaking down textual studies skills into useful, measurable parts. Like all of our classes, it offers a personal, caring, and customized approach. Contact us today for more information.
How often do you offer your courses?
We offer cohorts once or twice a year, and more if there is sufficient demand.
We have several Ivrit teachers. Can I arrange a school-wide training?
Certainly, with pleasure. We have produced custom training sessions and courses for individual schools or school systems to fit their schedules and requirements.
My school restricts technology use. Can Hebrew Our Way help train our teachers?
Of course. An important part of our mission is to enhance language teaching in accordance with the school derech and hashkofos. We can easily accommodate schools who do not use internet by using telephone classes or on-site trainings.
What comes after the Intro Course?
An excellent question. Our basic course is an excellent, relatively quick way to acquire fundamental knowledge essential to effective language instruction.
PRACTICUM. After taking the course, a person would ideally follow up for deeper knowledge, experience in specific situations, and supervision in applying the principles to the classroom. Also, if you wish to receive the course accreditation certificate, you do need to complete 48 hours of supervision in classroom and materials preparation and use.
GUIDED MENTORING. To help you bring your theoretical knowledge into reality, HOW offers on-site or remote mentor/coaches for guidance in identifying the actual learner levels of your students, in building proficiency-based study units, and in matching up language, cultural, and functional objectives with teacher preferences and school expectations.
SCHOLARSHIPS & SUBSIDIES. We sometimes have outside funding to provide these services at no cost or at a reduced charge to our member schools.
CONTINUING EDUCATION. Mini-workshops by our network of language teaching experts in specific areas of interest are included in your annual HOW membership. Additional courses or seminars help you practice finding ways to use this highly effective approach to keep making your language classroom better and better. They are also a great opportunity to get out of the isolation of the classroom and compare notes with a fantastic group of motivated and interesting colleagues.
Finally, our website and WIX Spaces Mobile App includes a blog for professional articles and resources and a teacher forum. As Hebrew Our Way grows, we hope to keep the stimulating information flowing.
Making custom curriculum from scratch sounds "nice", but who has that much time? Does HOW provide prewritten study units?
We do understand. Although Functional Proficiency purists would scorn ready-made material, we are realists, and we know the day school and yeshiva high school communities are always pressed for time and resources. That's why building and maintaining a mutual collection of voluntarily shared study units, reviewed by our experts for accuracy and appropriateness, is the next big priority for Hebrew Our Way.
Some materials are already available, and we hope to soon launch an semi-automated tool to help our members create, use, and rely on cleanly formatted lesson plan documents. These items are available to annual members, and of course they will be most useful to teachers who have been trained in the FPA.
Can you help our school find qualified Hebrew teachers?
B'ezras Hashem, we will certainly try. We would love to help you source qualified staff who are sensitive to the Torah day school environment. And as our network of trained teachers grows, we will be able to locate and refer more teachers and tutors across the country -- or help by training local individuals who have some background and a good language teaching aptitude.
I'd like to improve my Hebrew skills. Does Hebrew Our Way teach Hebrew as a language?
Yes! Our respectful and expert instructors can help anyone learn or improve their Hebrew using the engaging FPA approach. Why not try it for yourself?
We can help day school teachers refresh their conversational Hebrew or their grammar knowledge.
We offer beginner, refresher, intermediate and higher fluency classes for school parents, newcomers to Judaism, and people who wish they had learned more in high school. Using the FPA, you can learn using a topic of personal interest to you.
We can provide enrichment for acceleration in Hebrew/Ivrit for school and yeshiva students. Enrichment can include Hebrew language activity clubs in cooking, art, writing, or other hobbies.
We have expert and engaging instructors for every age and level. Depending on location, we can offer remote or in-person learning.