Variety, they say, is the spice of life. The nation of Israel is a pure reflection of that statement. The nation is a place of both cultural and lingual diversity. A 2011 survey that was carried out by the government of the nation identified at least ten languages that were spoken on a daily basis in one part or the other of the nation of Israel: Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, Romanian, Russian, English, French, Spanish, German, and Yiddish. In these circumstances, you might ask yourself which is the main language of Israel.
The Champion Language
With all these languages (and their associated cultures), the Hebrew Language has always been (and will forever be) identified as the main and official language of the nation of Israel. Forty-nine percent of the nation’s population, cleave to the Hebrew language as their native language, only seconded by Arabic at Eighteen percent.
This makes it the lingua franca of the nation Israel. It is also reported that the Hebrew language is well appreciated by ninety percent of the Israeli Jews, while sixty percent of the Arab population have a decent understanding of the Hebrew language.
The Hebrew language, the main language of Israel: a landmark of history and culture, remains the most spoken language in Israel. It is the choicest language to learn on arrival in Israel. Or, due to the present technology, you can study Hebrew online.
Introducing the Rosen School of Hebrew
To anyone willing to learn the Hebrew language, there is one school that brides itself with the teaching of this great language. It is the renowned Rosen School of Hebrew.
The Rosen Hebrew School has been around for a really long time, teaching the language most excellently. A partnership with one of the major Israeli institutions, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has made this possible for over seventeen years. The Rosen School of Hebrew is a leading academic entity in Israel and has the singular goal of dispersing their knowledge of the language with all the people of the world who are interested in learning. They have a series of online courses, created by erudite linguists and academic authorities in the language.
Philosophy and Accomplishments
The philosophy of the Rosen School is pretty simple. It is that all can learn Hebrew. No matter nationality, gender, and all other unique personalities of each individual, it is the strong belief and philosophy of the Rosen School that anybody anywhere who takes their courses will learn the language: speaking, reading, and writing it fluently.
A good look at their accomplishment is an attestation to the facts that their philosophy is not a mere cliché. Their accomplishments can be summed up in the phrase “Competence and Continuity.”
They have been functional since 2000 and have not gone down the drain ever since. They teach a total of five hundred and fifty classes a year. They handle a total of fifteen thousand students from all over the world. They also have an army of fifty lecturing professors.
All these point to the fact that the Rosen School is here to stay and teach.
Aharon Rosen and the Ulpan Method
Aharon Rosen (after whom the school is named), is one of the most influential figures ever when it comes to teaching Hebrew. He was one of the first who taught Hebrew to overseas students as well as immigrants. He returned to Israel in the year 1949 and started lecturing at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1950.
Until his death in 1972, he was head of the division of Hebrew language instruction at the university. He is also very popular for inventing the ulpan method which has been used ever since to successfully teach the language to countless number of people.
The Ulpan method was an innovation born out of necessity. Aharon Rosen had no prior method at hand for teaching the language. So he weaved out one from his experience of teaching the language to different kinds of people. The method was in line with the earlier Hebrew in Hebrew approach.
This method was then developed into a wholesome teaching philosophy that did not operate on the basis of rigid rules and formulas. The aim of this method was to not only teach the language, but to also integrate learners (immigrants) into the associate culture of the language. This would make it possible for them to not just speak the language, but become a part of the economic, social, and cultural aspects of Israeli life.
One of the factors that bring on the A game at Rosen are the teachers. They have an academic staff that is qualified and passionate to teach the language. These native Israeli teachers bring their years of experience into the classroom, making learning a stroll down the street. Below are only a few of the teachers that are available on the faculty at Rosen.
· Adina Mor Haim
She is a teacher of the Modern Hebrew language in English and French. She believes that teaching Hebrew is a way of meeting other people who are passionate about Israel and the language.
She has bagged a BA in Hebrew Literature and theater from the Tel Aviv University in Israel. She works also as a professor of Modern Hebrew at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies.
[The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies offers various online courses in Biblical Languages. If you are interested in one of them you can read here my review of this topic.]
· Aliza Katzman
Holding a BA in art and an MA in Education and psychology, Aliza has served as an educational representative of the Jewish Agency, teaching Hebrew abroad. She has also taught the language in Israel.
She has plenty of experience in teaching the language both at home and abroad.
· Dr. Yosef Flavio Horwitz
Yosef is of the opinion that teaching must be accomplished in a manner that provides a pleasurable experience for the student. He possesses a BA in philosophy and General studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has developed and created courses in his over twenty-five years of teaching. He teaches in Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Hebrew.
· Hagit Man
Hagit’s unique childhood as an immigrant makes teaching the language to others a personal mission and target. She is also a stickler for meeting new people. She is a graduate of the Haifa University, where she specialized in the Hebrew Language, and Social Education, and also in Arabic Language and Literature. She has over twenty-five years of working experience, serving as a teacher and educator in secondary schools. Since the year 2011, she has preoccupied herself with teaching Hebrew for Adults with the Ulpan method.
Courses on Modern Hebrew
At the Rosen School, there are a set of courses developed to teach the language to the immigrant, moving him or her from one level of fluency to another. Although these courses are at different levels, they are all woven together seamlessly to aid an unbroken process of learning.
Level 1 will be an elementary introduction to the language. It gives the beginner a solid foundation in Hebrew. The beginner will learn first the vowels. This will help in writing simple words and in understanding concise sentences structured in dialogue form. At the completion of this course, one would have acquired knowledge of:
· rudimentary Hebrew terms
· The Hebrew alphabets, the function, and sound of all the letters
· Basic make-up of grammar: verbs in the present tense, pronouns, numbers, and prepositions
Occasions will present themselves to practice conversation at the level of simple day-to-day dialogues. You will also hone your Listening prowess.
This course, as well as each of all the others, are an equivalent of a two-unit course at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The course will run for nine months, demanding two hours weekly.
Level 2 is a step closer to a better mastering of the language. This course tries to give the learner the opportunity to master communication in Hebrew in different contexts, e.g., speaking to an employee at the mall. Through such simple dialogues, one would become more skillful and confident in conversation. At the completion of this series of lessons, you would have acquired knowledge of:
· More words
· Effortlessness in reading
· More on pronouns, question words, adjectives, and adverbs of time.
· More on verbs and their usage in the present or infinitive form.
Occasions will present themselves for the practice of reading and writing. The exercises in this plan will permit for applying the vocabulary acquired so far within the formation of complex sentences.
Level 3 will improve your fluency in Hebrew. At this level, the learner would find it comfortable talking to friends and relatives in the language. At the completion of this course, one would have acquired knowledge of:
· more words
· More grammatical structures.
· the Past tense of Verbs
This level addresses more the culture of Israel. The learner will read texts that focus on Hebrew spirituality and also practice speaking while expressing his or her perspective on what has been read.
Level 4 exposes the student to interesting elements of the culture of Israel. He or she gets to read about several landmarks, influential personalities, and communities. This course will teach you
· new words
· the future tense of verbs
· better knowledge of grammatical constructions
The reading of native literature would boost one’s understanding of the Israeli culture, thus being an avenue for an increase in speaking prowess.
Level 5 is a step forward in the journey. The learner will study to express themselves in difficult contexts. He or she will listen to recordings of the experiences of various people and then will exercise silkiness in reading and writing as he or she shares related experiences. At the completion of this course, one would have acquired knowledge of:
· other new words
· Different verb groups to enhance your ability to apply these verbs in all tenses
· More complex grammatical structures: modal verbs, time expressions, different forms of nouns
At this stage, reading will be broadened as the focus will be placed on various kinds of texts, which will enhance one’s understanding of the language and its culture.
Becoming an Advanced Learner of the Main Language of Israel
Level 6 will lead the learner closer to his goal, as more focus will be placed on the Israeli society and culture at a more advanced language level. At this point, the student would be able to read texts meant for Hebrew speakers. After this course, the student would have acquired knowledge of:
· More adequate use of your vocabulary, which now spans over 1,700 words.
· the different groups of verbs and the special cases
· difficult complex sentence constructions that integrate the rules presented until now
Also, writing prowess will be sufficient enough to write on all the questions earlier addressed, as well as other personal matters.
Level 7 is a humongous leap. The learner begins to be well-informed about happenings in Israel as he or she would be able to read the local newspapers unaided. The learner will feel more at home with Israel’s culture and world as he or she engages in the reading of Hebrew literature and history. At this level reading and summing up sections of newspaper articles about social issues both in Israel and abroad will abound. A variety of topics will also be covered.
Exposure to interesting grammatical issues that arise in these texts will widen the student’s understanding of the language’s syntax. He or she will also get to speak much more during lessons to develop fluency in communication.
By reaching level 8, the student will be able to become part and parcel of the Israeli spirit. They will be able to read whatever texts they want and use the media in Hebrew as well as interact with other Israelis. He or she would be able to discuss certain expressions that arise in the reading of such articles and practice writing. By the end of this course, he or she will also feel very much at home surfing the internet in Hebrew.
In a Nutshell
With this introduction to the main language of Israel, now you know how and where it can be learned. The Rosen School of Hebrew is one of the most important language environments that you can find on the internet and which guarantees you a deep internalization of Hebrew.