I recently had the opportunity to take a few Biblical Hebrew classes from Israel Institute of Biblical Studies. I have had an interest in learning Biblical Hebrew for a few years now. I had learned a few words in Hebrew on my own, but this was my first experience taking a class.
All the classes are online. There are 30 classes in this course, done over 9 months. There are many different times that the classes are held, all Monday – Friday. You get to chose which class you would like to attend. Class size is small, so we get plenty of chances to answer questions and ask questions. The teacher calls on each student to answer questions.
There is a white board that is used during class. The students are also able to write on the board during class using a pen tool on the screen that you direct with your computer mouse. We have used it to mark letters, to write letters, etc. I like that there is so much student participation. The instructors that I have had have been very encouraging when a student answers a question wrong. Encouraging them, putting the slide up where the student can see the answer to the question, and leading the student to find the answer.
I was asked to write this review after taking two classes. It has now been 6 weeks since our class started. One week class was cancelled for Israel Independence Day. I missed a class one day for family reasons. One week the teacher emailed ahead of time to let us know we would be having a sub for class that week. The sub was just as knowledgeable as our regular teacher. He picked up right where she left off, so I think when we have class next week we will be able to move on seamlessly.
A computer, and a microphone are mandatory for the classes. A webcam can be used, but I don’t have one right now. During class, you can see the teacher, and the students live on camera on one side of the screen. If a student doesn’t have a webcam, you can still see their name, and hear them. It has been so cool to be in class with people from around the world. The classes are conducted in English, so all attendees speak English. Unless we are speaking Hebrew. lol
I like that I had the option to receive text message reminders for class, as well as the email reminders that are sent automatically. I receive both.
Each class is recorded and a couple of days after the live class I receive an email with a link to the recording. This was great for the class that I had to miss. I can view it later and not get behind. It’s also great for reviewing what was covered in class while doing the homework. Yes, there is homework! The amount of time spent doing it has varied.
I like that passages of scriptures are used from the very 1st lesson. No, you can’t read it at first, but the instructor reads it aloud while you follow along. The instructor also had us find the letters we were learning in the passages.
Here are a few pages that I have worked on in the book. The pictures in the book are exact replicas of the slides used in the online lessons.
You learn how to read and write Biblical Hebrew, as well as how to write the transliterations of the Hebrew words. Ignore my handwriting. I have bad handwriting in English, so it goes that I will have bad handwriting in Hebrew. lol
I like that there is plenty of room on the pages to take notes. The book comes in physical form, as well as PDF. I loaded the PDF onto my phone. That way I can study even if I am not home.
I honestly have seen no cons to these online classes. Everything has gone smoothly, the instructors have been awesome, and the web interface has worked very well for each class. The teacher emails regularly, and we are encouraged to email her with any questions, or problems.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in these classes. I have learned a lot and look forward to taking more classes in the future.
For more information about these online Hebrew classes, visit Israel Institute of Biblical Studies.
*Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” My opinions are my own.