home order english hebrew by subject Links and Resources Store Locator Errata

    FREE Hebrew Lessons!

Sign up below to receive
ongoing FREE quality material to enhance your Hebrew!
Join now and instantly receive our useful debating phrase-sheet


How to Retain New Vocabulary

Great Tips for Improving Your Pronunciation

What Can Tom Cruise Do for Your Hebrew

Teaching Adults The Way Children Learn

Special Features of Hebrew You Should Know about

Why Break Your Teeth Trying to Learn Ivrit?

Can Anglos Ever Speak Hebrew Like Natives?

Yes You Can
(Communicate in Israeli Hebrew)!
The National Middle East Language Research Center of Brigham Young University, in Utah, created an extremely useful handbook for Hebrew learners. In the blog below - the first in a series - we bring some of their great tips.
How to Go About Learning Hebrew
Setting the scene for success!

While foreign languages may differ greatly one from another, the process of learning a foreign language always involves the same kinds of skills and techniques. One reason some people never learn a foreign language successfully is that they never learn how to go about it. They may possess all of the necessary abilities, but simply never apply them in the right way. In fact, no superhuman talents are required. It is a matter of finding the right attitude, the right people, and the right study habits.

The single most important factor in how effectively you will learn a foreign language is desire. Perhaps passion is a more appropriate word. The desire that will enable you to learn a foreign language needs to be the passionate desire familiar from other areas of life. Neither a romantic whim to learn a language nor a calculated decision of how important it is or how good it would be for you to learn it, will be enough. Convincing the love of your life to marry you is probably easier (and quicker) for most people than successful acquisition of a foreign language.

The second most important thing is a good teacher. Mere contact with native speakers is not enough. Children can learn any language well, even several languages at once, by the time they are six years old without any formal instruction just by being raised is an environment where the language is spoken. However, if you are older than six, this is no longer an option. As far as linguists can tell, something physically changes in your brain at this age. An adult needs structure, grammatical structure as well as discipline, in order to assimilate the dizzying array of sounds and phrases that make up the language they are trying to learn.

Finally, you should have contact with native speakers. This is absolutely necessary to mastering any language, but only once you have received some formal instruction. The more formal instruction you have, the more you will benefit from your contact with native speakers. Only after a large amount of both will additional formal instruction become superfluous. The best kind of native speaker to learn from is one you see every day. A boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse is simply the best way to learn any language, although this cannot and probably should not always be arranged on demand.

Whether you are travelling to a foreign country or not, creating an immersion-like environment is invaluable. Some people spend time in a foreign country but allow an English-speaking enclave to be created around them. Wherever you are, make a point of speaking Hebrew with anyone who can speak it to you, including fellow learners. Immerse yourself in the culture. If you like music, listen to music in Hebrew. Practice telling jokes in Hebrew. Don’t be ashamed to carry flashcards, or a small notebook around so you can drill your vocab while you wait in elevators, etc. if you are in Israel, write down unfamiliar words during the day so you can find out what they mean later. Remember the context you first saw the word in so that when you find out what it means, you will understand the context better, too. Learning in context is the best way to memorize anything.

Extract taken with kind permission from ‘Handbook for Students of Hebrew’, the National Middle East Language Research Center. www.nmelrc.org.

Sign up below to receive completely FREE quality content to enhance your Hebrew including topic-based phrase-sheets that correspond to the chapters in the book.

Sign up now and instantly receive your first complimentary phrase-sheet full of useful terms for debating in Hebrew!