Competence in Hebrew (P66)

yochanan bitan ButhFam at
Fri Dec 31 06:39:29 EST 1999

>When I learned French, German, Dutch, Spanish, I could sit down and read
>and simply try to make sense out of them without looking up every word to
>certain I was absolutely correct.  I got an anthology and just read. This 
>stood me in good stead on the GSFLT exam.  If modern Hebrew is
>close to Biblical Hebrew (and I don't know if it is or not), this could be
>approach to follow.  

reading massively in modern hebrew, ala any modern language, would work
wonders if you could get close to a vocalization that would fit with your
current competence. 
contrary to ulpan practice but in line with second language acquisition, i
would highly recommend vocalized easy readers for those not fluent in the
language. unvocalized hebrew is easy to read AFTER you know the language,
but painlfully slow for learners and probably the single biggest cause for
ulpan failures and ulpan fatigue among new students. 
as i said above, this is a minority position within the israeli
establishment, but i'll stand by it.

WIZO has a series of intermediate readers called "gesher". the earlier
level and youth readers have fairly large, vocalized texts with
annotations. i would say that reading 20-40 of those booklets would bump
someone up from intermediate to 'advanced' (say level gimel to level he/vav
in ulpan parlance) and having them reading straight unvocalized hebrew.

a more basic question is getting up to an intermediate level.

elef braxot
randall buth

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