Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

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Jason Hare
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Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Jason Hare »

My students have reached chapter 12 of Learning Biblical Hebrew (Kutz & Josberger). In HE101, we are to cover up to chapter 17, so we're in a good place. The second section, HE102, will cover chapters 18 to 33. This is a completely online class, and we're using a Moodle from MoodleCloud.com and the BigBlueButton software provided by them free-of-charge. I'm recording the sessions and uploading them to my YouTube channel at youtube.com/thehebrewcafe. It's really been an amazing journey so far!

Yesterday, on the Facebook group Nerdy Language Majors I made a post offering to meet on Zoom with those who are interested. I put together two discussion groups on Zoom: one for those who are interested in reading from the biblical text together as a group; and, one for those who wish to have conversations in modern Hebrew. After today's discussion, we decided that we're going to read through Isaiah together as a group.

How are you getting by in the time of COVID-19 with your Hebrew learning or teaching? Do you have any strategies for how we can utilize all of our online resources and create pathways that lead between them? Have you considered using B-Hebrew as a launchpad for studies into the Hebrew Bible?

Best of luck to us all during this difficult time!
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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Jason Hare
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Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Jason Hare »

I've put together two group chats for Hebrew on Zoom. One is for communicative Hebrew (the modern language), and the other is to do shared reading of biblical texts. We're going to push through in reading Isaiah as a group, starting this week with (you guessed it) chapter 1.

We'll be pulling up a website with the text (perhaps tanach.us, perhaps scholarsgateway.com) and doing a screenshare as we read through the text.

Is anyone taking advantage of the down time to push forward with their Hebrew groups?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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Kirk Lowery
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Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Kirk Lowery »

Jason,

If you're teaching Biblical Hebrew grammar, are you using the newer communicative pedagogy, or the more traditional one?

I'm not suggesting a preference for either one; just curious.
Kirk E. Lowery, PhD
B-Hebrew Site Administrator & Moderator
blog: https://blogs.emdros.org/eh
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Jason Hare
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Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Jason Hare »

We've not been using a communicative approach. Our purpose is in line with the subtitle of the textbook: Reading for Comprehension.

That is, we are using the workbook as our major focus. It contains a graded reader that begins with the Joseph story in Genesis and then goes through the entirety of the books of Jonah and Ruth. I think the approach is novel, in that it covers the material objectives through lots of explanations. It's reading comprehension in English and reading comprehension in Hebrew -- and I do a rundown of questions and grammar concepts in our live sessions and then lead them through reading a section of the reading assignment together. All of the lessons have been uploaded to YouTube at the link above (/thehebrewcafe).

We will be having our final exam on May 15. At that point, I'd like to offer them to continue for the second session, which will cover the end of the textbook. Given the course material, the idea of communication isn't really within grasp, since nothing but the Qal is being addressed at this point. I'd have a hard time leading conversations using only the Qal. You can't say much in the Qal! I mean, they've thrown in some Piel forms in the readings (like וידבר), but I'd have to be able to ask them to pick things up (להרים - Hiphil), put them down (להניח - Hiphil), read them aloud (להקריא - Hiphil), etc. Maybe we'll use more communicative information as we get into the more developed verb system. Until chapter 17 (the whole of our present course), we will cover only the Qal system.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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Jason Hare
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Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Jason Hare »

We did encounter 12 today, which covered an introduction to the qatal forms. Right now they are learning the endings associated with the perfect, and we started to look at subordinate clauses that use qatal and how they are related to regular narrative in the vayiqtol. It was a fun lesson, in which we finished translating Genesis 40, the story of Joseph interpreting the dreams of the baker and cupbearer. The video is currently processing on YouTube. I'll post a link as soon as it's ready.

We also decided that we are going to move from BigBlueButton to Zoom for the next lesson. Perhaps we can invite people from B-Hebrew to join us some day for an online guest night. Each person could bring his or her own favorite snack and drink, and we'll have a lively talk about some aspect of Hebrew that we agree upon beforehand (not etymology and meanings of root letters, though!). :D

Oh, and today's class was extra long because we needed to add time for the decision about Zoom. We also took our time on the sufformatives of the perfect. I also commented on some trope phrases that appear in the text (especially the repetition of the phrase munach munach revi'i in that part of the Torah).
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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Jason Hare
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Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Jason Hare »

The encounter has been posted here: https://youtu.be/RPE4QYL_tTs.
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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Jason Hare
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Re: Coronavirus COVID-19 and Online Learning Strategies

Post by Jason Hare »

By the way, you can put YouTube videos on higher speed by changing the playback speed under settings. Is there anything that you might have done differently in introducing the Qal Perfect?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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