Action Computer Training Center, Granbury TX

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Hebrew - Language Course

Course Details > Other Courses

“Good-Enough” Hebrew.

Our teacher Doctor Dave (DD) has a Ph.D. (Linguistics) from the University of Texas at Arlington He has consulted on various projects for business and government as the senior computational linguist from Natural Language processing software (PowerEdit, top honors from PC Week and PC Magazine’s “Editors’ Choice Award” in 1991) to speech recognition systems, translation software, applied articulatory phonetics. In the classroom, DD has taught ESL for various age groups including Adult Education, and has taught Rhetoric at SMU. DD is currently a Baccus Elementary Academic Mentor. He has been a Board Member of the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, has taught adults and youth at various Dallas synagogues, been a teacher for the Joys of Jewish Learning, and co-founded the Dallas Virtual Jewish Community in Iyar 5754 (April 1994) .

In the interest of full-disclosure, DD is NOT a Native Born Israeli. He speaks and writes his Hebrew Chicago-Style. But for the "Good-Enough" Hebrew courses, Modern Israeli Hebrew will be the dialect of choice.

What you will get from "Good-Enough” Hebrew Part 1 and Part 2.

1. Get comfortable with hearing, speaking, simple basic phrases in Hebrew to understand and create ad hoc conversations that deal will life as it is. This is not academic, school book Hebrew. Think of it as Street Hebrew. You will learn how to pronounce Modern Hebrew, reasonably well. No one will mistake you (or me for that matter) for someone who has been speaking Hebrew on the streets of Tel Aviv from day one. We just want to speak "Good-Enough" to be understood. If I can understand you, and your classmates can understand you here; a native speaker will have no problem understanding you there.

2. Be able to mix and match Hebrew phrases; then creatively build them into usable structures as the situation requires. Learning a new language is just getting pieces of communication stuff, organizing them, and gluing them into place. Leaving the metaphor behind, you will acquire a basic skill of how to turn English thoughts into understandable (simple, basic) Street Hebrew and be able to reverse the process. Like every new skill, it is awkward to use at first; but after a reasonable amount of practice it becomes second nature. When you have your first dream in Hebrew; you own it.

3. Gain the language skills to be able to learn a new phrase or word in Hebrew from an Israeli-Style speaker without having to resort to English or a guide book -- in most instances. From experience, I can tell you that acquiring a language piece or some glue this way is well worth the time spent. You learn more this way. Just be ready to spend a little more time up front and be prepared to buy some coffee or a meal.

4. We will be focusing on creating basic Hebrew infrastructure words and patterns. The vocabulary will be limited; but very generic and useful. We will be focusing on "glue" items (function words, relationship words of time, space, size, number, pronouns, and the verb system). The vast majority of the words that we will be using are high frequency Hebrew words.

5. Do not worry about grammar. We are interested in using Hebrew, not analyzing it That being said, I reserve the right to use helpful tips, pattern recognition observations, and linguistic tricks of the trade to help speed you on your way. But none of these aids will smell of grammar. By the way, How many of you can create a sentence in English using a gerund, a putative modal verb, three other auxiliary verbs, with a passive future perfect tense, in the subjunctive mood, including two or three subjuncts and disjuncts of your choice? Who cares right? Learning a language from a grammatical analysis perspective is daunting and non-productive.

6. At the end of each class, you will given a transliterated cheat sheet that will cover everything (and more) that was dealt with in class. This is just a guide to help you remember, reproduce, and innovate. Most of all, it should encourage you to engage in Hebrew conversations with your partner or with yourself during the week.

1. “Good-Enough” Hebrew Part -1 -- 4 Weeks. 1 Class period 2 hours long.

2. “Good-Enough” Hebrew Part -2 -- 4 Weeks. 1 Class period 2 hours long.

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