[b-hebrew] teaching Hebrew without vowels

joel at exc.com joel at exc.com
Mon Aug 13 08:20:16 EDT 2007

>Uri Hurvitz sent me (I thought he sent it to the list) a reference to
>an article http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleId=675 from someone
>who is teaching students to read Hebrew without points as well as with
>points. However, when I wrote the author, I got no response (it's
>possible he never got my letter). I'd rather start with someone else's
>efforts than "reinvent the wheel", giving him credit.

For many years, I have been teaching children in after-school programs
to read Hebrew without vowels.  (I have a handout on-line from a
presentation I gave on the basic idea:



I realize that my goals (in a supplemental-education setting) are
considerably more modest than in a full-blown Hebrew class, but the
basic ideas and the references may be helpful.

My experience has been that once the children get over their initial
fear of reading without vowels, their (limited) comprehension improves
more quickly than it could with vowels.

I also teach a graduate-level Biblical- and Rabbinic-Hebrew class.  I
teach the roots, binyanim, prefixes, and suffixes before explaining
the vowels.  Again, the students' progress tends to be rapid.


Joel M. Hoffman, PhD

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list