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Hebrew Summer Language Program

Unique Features of the Program

The Hebrew Summer Language Institute provides students with no previous knowledge of Hebrew with an intensive, highly accelerated language learning environment. It follows the SLI’s Rapid Language Acquisition model (known as 8+12+2) in 8 weeks conferring 12 credit hours and covering the equivalent of 2 years of language study. By the end of the program, students will have equally developed all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), and will be prepared to become successful participants in Hebrew-speaking environments both inside and outside an academic setting.

One of the Hebrew Program’s most unique features is its emphasis on Hebrew for the long run, Hebrew for the real world.  You will not only learn Hebrew, but also master the learning techniques that will render your knowledge sustainable, allowing your relationship with Hebrew to persist for years to come.  For vocabulary, for instance, we will be using video clips, paintings, and also dozens of music clips from YouTube and other sources, making it easy to practice the language at home or on the road in the exact same way as in the classroom.  Then again, you will experience both inside and outside the classroom how even a trivial task such as using a word processor can become a language-learning activity thanks to the multilingual features of Open Source software.

Assessment in the Hebrew Program is based on an innovative principle we like to call “show what you know!”  The idea is a simple one; in lieu of giving standard vocabulary quizzes and grammar tests, we ask that students demonstrate their knowledge by way of performing the same activities we conduct in class.  In a typical vocabulary demonstration, for instance, you and a partner will need – each in your own turn – to demonstrate your familiarity with the vocabulary at hand, as well as its underlying grammar.  When it is your turn to demonstrate your knowledge, your partner will ask leading questions and provide you with other helpful hints and tips (in Hebrew, of course), yet without giving away the answer, a la Pictionary.  As you will discover, this assessment method helps eliminate test anxiety almost entirely, and transforms assessment activities into effective components of your learning process.

Program Structure

Students of the Hebrew SLI program meet from Monday to Friday three times a day, for a total of 7-1/2 daily contact hours. The morning session takes place from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, is taught by the program’s primary instructor, and is dedicated to the introduction and practice of vocabulary, grammar, and cultural as well as transcultural literacy. The afternoon practice takes place from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, and is dedicated to the practice of communication, reading, and writing skills. The day then concludes on a high note with the evening session, which takes places from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.  The evening session focuses on cultural knowledge and cultural immersion, and thus entails a wide range of activities such as cooking, virtual tours, film-watching as well as filmmaking, karaoke, guest lectures, digital literacy, and much more. In addition, several evening sessions will be dedicated to activities and topics chosen by the program’s participants.