OFF TOPIC Modern Hebrew question

Madden, Shawn sMadden at sebts.edu
Sat May 18 11:53:35 EDT 2002


This is a test to see if I can send to follks from e-mail and not just
through the forum on the web. I will send the same message on the web
just incase one goes through and the other does not. 
 
Might the question of using modern Hebrew to teach classical Hebrew not
be handled this way. There is a school of thought that in the teaching
of classical Hebrew one is merely teaching the students to observe what
has been produced by the ancient writers and is not really that
interested in "producing" or "creating" sentences in classical Hebrew. I
use this method my self. However, I saw a history channel series on
Elizabeth I that pointed out that she was taught her plethora of
non-English languages by having her not only be able to read what she
found already produced but she was also required to produce dialogue in
those languages. It was said on that show that that was the superior
method of teaching a foreign language. ONe of our professors here at
Southeastern who was taught a Jewish Union in Cincinatti, remarked that
that was how he was taught and that he did the same thing in his class.
If you look at Wiengreen's textbook he has exercises in both Hebrew to
English and English to Hebrew.
 
So, that being said, is it not more to the point that in teaching Hebrew
the students could/should learn to produce the language (whether in
Modern or Classical forms) to improve their understanding and skills? I
am considering this for my next year's class.
 
To the other point about learning modern Hebrew to access the works of
modern Hebrew scholars. Good idea but so too one should have a facility
in a plethora of languages that have secondary works in those languages
about classical Hebrew. Again, German being primary, but also French,
Dutch, Italian, Modern Hebrew, etc. Of course this works out that one
should know a whole bunch of languages to seriously be able (yes, I like
to regularly split infinitives!) to address an issue, not just the
modern version of the classical language under consideration.
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