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Teaching Hebrew to children... with Accordance?


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#1 Abram K-J

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

A while back there was an Accordance blog post (from David Lang, maybe?) about using Accordance to teach kids Greek.

 

My five-year-old son (six in the fall) is interested in learning Hebrew. I know something like Spanish may make more sense giving the shifting demographics of the U.S. (where we live), but as this is his request, I want to honor it and do at least a little Hebrew with him starting this summer.

 

I'm wondering--does anyone have any suggestions for what to use in teaching Biblical Hebrew to children? Are there specific resources in Accordance or specific child-friendly ways to use Accordance that could aid in this? Any resources that are not yet available in Accordance?

 

I notice The First Hebrew Primer is on sale through today... but that seems to be more for adults, right?

 

Thanks in advance for any ideas anyone may have.


Abram K-J
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#2 James Tucker

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:06 AM

Don't take the grammar translation approach! It rarely works out well for adults. Kids will adapt to language learning best by immersion (I could point you to numerous articles to substantiate this point).

 

I am teaching my Son Hebrew, and I do two things. 1. I use the language with him. We walk around the house learning to express ideas about description and identity (מה זה?). I ask him questions in Hebrew, etc. 2. I read to him (EKS also has some children books). I've bought resources from Powell's Books in Portland, who have a rather large offering (≥ 400) of modern Hebrew books. In addition, I let him watch Sesame Street in Hebrew.

 

He can master the grammar latter in his life, but I cannot stress enough that continued exposure to Hebrew (hearing, listening, reading, using the language) would be far more beneficial—and fun!—than learning a grammatical principle. Don't get me wrong, I am a fanatic about grammar. Yet, I think we do a disservice to ourselves and to others when we read a grammar on a language and think that we "know" a language, yet cannot speak the first sentence in such a language.


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#3 Abram K-J

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for the reply, James. Agreed.

 

I wasn't planning on doing anything grammar-heavy with him. I think a few more EKS books may be in order--we have one now. I'm also wondering if Randall Buth's Living Biblical Hebrew materials might help--I'll try the demo video lesson with my son and see what he thinks. I like your idea of just walking around the house and pointing to things and conversing.


Abram K-J
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#4 James Tucker

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 08:59 PM

Just don't teach him: אני רצה לאכל גלידה בבקשה


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#5 Ken Simpson

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:47 AM

Why, you got a problem with ice-cream? (I think that's what you're talking about anyway)


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#6 Helen Brown

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:13 AM

Yes, ice cream is the problem, I cannot resist it.


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#7 Abram K-J

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:10 AM

It's funny, James--he literally just had ice cream yesterday, before you posted. He didn't need Hebrew to get it!

 

Last night we read one of those EKS books (Jacob's Travels is the English translation). That's a start.

 

Here is the David Lang blog post I was mentioning. There he mentions high school-aged kids, but also a four-year-old. (!) My oldest is five, and I think (as you point out, James) a grammar textbook is probably not the way to go, but he does like the computer, and I'm often on Accordance--especially early in the morning, so I'll likely continue to do a few words/verses here and there with him in that way.


Abram K-J
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