Children’s Hebrew for Beginners Programme
‘Eizeh Kef’, This is Fun!
Do you have children aged 5-10 who would like to start learning Hebrew? Yes? Then welcome to Eizeh Kef, a Modern Hebrew reading programme for this age group.
The premise of the programme is to teach Hebrew reading using a natural learning approach here the letters and vowels come from vocabulary which children have first acquired orally.
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Starting with topics that are meaningful and relevant to the children is key, and learning through games is crucial to the philosophy of the programme.
Learners are first introduced to the Hebrew words for members of the family, using pictures. They have lots of opportunities to learn these words orally through using them in a variety of games before they are introduced to the written words. They understand the meaning of the words from the context of their prior knowledge of family members; there is no vocabulary which would not be meaningful to most children.
The programme is inclusive as the images depict characters that can be suitable for all types of family units. Only when the learners know and understand the words orally are they introduced to the written words. They learn to recognise the whole shape of the word without being expected to know individual letters or syllables, first through playing games and later through activities in their Eizeh Kef workbook.
When learners are confident recognising the whole word, we begin to break it down, focusing on the first sound of each word. Learners acquire all the letters and vowels from the first sounds (letter and vowel) of all the key vocabulary in each unit. By the end of the first unit, children are able to read and understand simple short texts in Hebrew comprising the six letters and five vowels they have learned in that unit.
Each new unit builds on the previous one and incorporates all the vocabulary from each. In this way, children learn the language in building blocks. By the end of the fourth unit, children will have learned all the Hebrew letters and vowels. The remaining three units build on this knowledge in the form of short stories, texts and more complex grammatical structures.
The programme will be taught by Nikki Walters and Helen Michael, both of whom have recently had training in this from Dr Jo-Ann Myers, Director of Education and lecturer at Leo Baeck College, and the Hebrew language specialist who developed the Eizeh Kef programme.
We are confident that this programme follows a more natural and intuitive way to learn the language than the traditional way of learning Hebrew focusing first on letters and building up to reading whole words. It is also a lot more fun, learning through games and lots of repetition and focusing on meaningful vocabulary.
Parents are very welcome to join their children in the class to see what we do and find out how to help your child practise at home. If you don’t know any Hebrew it is a great opportunity to start and learn alongside your child.