A Case against Emphasizing Vowel Pointing when Teaching BH

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Adam Balshan
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Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:42 pm

Re: A Case against Emphasizing Vowel Pointing when Teaching BH

Post by Adam Balshan »

The last time I taught Hebrew, last summer, I had two, bright graduate students who were eager to learn. One seemed to love the class, and the other seemed to put up with it as a necessary evil on the road to understanding the Old Testament. I brought them through a thorough regimen of Pratico and van Pelt's first 10 chapters, with extra work in the Workbook.

I could tell that the intricacies of the standard method, of which Pratico is a stickler, had a deleterious effect on them. I think the merits of William Griffin's andragogy is worth exploring.
Adam Balshan
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:42 pm

Re: A Case against Emphasizing Vowel Pointing when Teaching BH

Post by Adam Balshan »

Jason Hare wrote:It's absurd to say that these things don't exist. They obviously do, and we can predict what a form will be based on how the language behaves generally. It's not all topsy turvy.
Agreed. They certainly exist; grammar is extant from nearly the beginning of time! The Sumerians did it. The Indo-Iranians did it.
There is merit to minimizing the importance of grammar for a certain level of effective reading or speaking, of course. But not that grammar is somehow alien to the language itself. It is inextricable from the organism of language.
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Jason Hare
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Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
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Re: A Case against Emphasizing Vowel Pointing when Teaching BH

Post by Jason Hare »

Adam Balshan wrote: Agreed. They certainly exist; grammar is extant from nearly the beginning of time! The Sumerians did it. The Indo-Iranians did it.
There is merit to minimizing the importance of grammar for a certain level of effective reading or speaking, of course. But not that grammar is somehow alien to the language itself. It is inextricable from the organism of language.
We're five weeks away from the final exam in the course that I'm currently giving using Learning Biblical Hebrew by Kutz and Josberger. I'm extremely happy with the students' progress, and we paid attention to the distinction between vowel lengths and syllables, etc. Of course, they can't use Hebrew for communicative purposes, but that's not what we sat out to do. I'm proud of their work, and they've graciously allowed the recording and uploading of all of our lessons together. It's on the YouTube channel www.youtube.com/thehebrewcafe. Our final session will be on May 8. :)
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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