Top Course Tags
Always Do the Reading
Great Intro to the Subject
Many Small Assignments
Not too easy. Not too difficult.
In addition to being an excellent scholar, and an energetic and fun (and funny) teacher, Dr. Petter has been teaching Basic Hebrew for a long time (since she was a graduate student) and has developed a very good pedagogy for teaching Hebrew. In particular, she has a series of steps for how to go through the material for each section and has a handout (the "Hebrew Helps Handout") that homes in on the essential material for each section so that students spend most of their time on the most essential things. Then, in class, she has us describe the rules and concepts of grammar that we learned TO EACH OTHER to deepen their impressions on our mind. And, last, she encourages our vocabulary memorization with helpful mnemonics. As far as the subject matter in general, (as our TA noted at the start of the course), learning to read Hebrew is like gazing into the past.
First, navigating the very foreign alphabet and its strange ways of indicating things like vowels made the class instruction very helpful--and in a few days I could actually sit down with Hebrew texts and READ the words (even if I didn't know the words yet). But the biggest highlight was getting through the Qal stem of the Hebrew verb. We got through most of it in Hebrew I, and since the Qal stem is the form of the verb that appears much more than the other stems, having that foundation means that we made great leaps in being able to translate any given Old Testament text that is put in front of us.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
First, start vocabulary early and do it daily. And two tips with that: first, use mnemonics: tie the sound of the Hebrew word to a funny picture or action in your mind that also includes the English meaning. Second, use spaced repetition: you can use Anki or other programs out there, but I had success using flash cards that I made myself. I would make flash cards for all the vocabulary (using mnemonics), and then review them again when I was done making them, again the next day, three days later, a week later, two weeks, a month, and so on (so long as I kept getting them right) to ensure the best chance for them to get into long-term memory. Second, follow her method for going through the material before each class: 1. Read the chapter's summary first. 2. Read from her "Hebrew Helps Handout" which summarizes in more detail the important material of the chapter. 3. Read the entire chapter in the grammar. 4. Listen to her online lectures (I found that this was mostly redundant and usually steps 1-3 were sufficient). 5. Do the workbook material.