I sent this letter of invitation below, explaining my Hebrew educational reform project to family, friends, acquaintances, teachers, administrators, and organizations. If you know anyone interested in improving the Hebrew learning (acquiring) experience and outcomes for students of all ages, please read and forward this letter!
I hope to get more teachers and decision-makers to explore and subscribe to my blog, become familiar with the tenets of Second Language Acquisition theory, read about Teaching with Comprehensible Input, engage in enlightening conversations, and seek (re-)training for our Hebrew teachers. Once I have a group of interested ‘stake-holders,’ I’d love to organize a conference and/or workshops to present and train, like I did at my temple this summer. For more on my temple training, start reading here.
I also plan to submit proposals to present at Jewish educator conferences, and, if accepted, seek sponsorship to attend and share my work. I am aware of the NewCAJE conference in San Francisco in August – please email me with information on other relevant conferences!Here’s the letter to circulate, and thanks in advance for helping get the word out on improving Hebrew instruction:
This summer, I embarked on a new project that I want to share with you. In a nutshell, I am reimagining Modern Hebrew language instruction. I believe my vision is timely, and doable with community support.
With the goal of improving our kids’ Hebrew learning experience, I received a grant through the Community Foundation for Jewish Education (CFJE), which allowed me to start training Hebrew teachers in teaching with comprehensible input (T/CI). Comprehensible Input (CI) refers to brain-friendly language instruction that is understandable to the learner, and focuses on meaning and interest. Aimed at beginning-through-intermediate-level students, classes are conducted almost exclusively in conversational Hebrew. T/CI is engaging, fun and effective, employing collaborative ‘story spinning,’ improvisation and acting, and exploits Hebrew’s most practical, high- frequency words.
I’ve started a blog to share my instructional resources and reflections at cmovan.edublogs.org. I invite you to follow and join the conversation by posting responses and questions! Also, please forward this letter to as many friends, acquaintances and contacts you may know who are involved or interested in Hebrew instruction, whether they are affiliated with temple-based supplementary school, day school, ulpan, university or adult conversational classes. This list may include rabbis, classroom teachers, educational directors, administrators and students, etc.
I hope to foster enlightening discussions around Modern Hebrew language instruction, through this platform, wherever my readers reside, and whatever native language they speak.
In the few short weeks I’ve been teaching Hebrew classes to 3rd through 7thgraders at my temple, the response has been overwhelmingly positive from kids, parents, teachers and the community. I’ll continue to model teacher lessons, until our faculty feels sufficiently confident to take over. I will also coach and mentor our faculty throughout the year.
I hope to train additional groups of Hebrew teachers who are interested in learning to teach with comprehensible input in the coming months, hopefully in a workshop or conference setting.
Thanks in advance for your support in helping me spread the word, and feel free to contact me directly at this special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comprehensible Hebrew, כמובן