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Rosetta Stone Totale is a pretty cool program. I've been using it to learn some basics - Hebrew and Italian - and its actually been a lot of fun. How much you like Rosetta Stone Totale will depend on what type of learner you are. I was never an exemplary language learner, my talents are more mathematical and analytic, but Rosetta Stone Totale is very much changing that for me currently. It helps that I can have the computer repeat itself as much as I please.   Interestingly, I've skipped over spelling and voicing because these parts are not great to do with a computer. You basically find out if what you did is right or wrong, not what part of what you did is right or wrong and how you can improve. This means that my focus is almost entirely on vocabulary, which has its own sections in the Rosetta Stone Menu.   The program is unique in that you spend a lot of time looking at pictures and coming up with stories for them as if they were cards. Your short term... read more

The following questions may be helpful in guiding lesson planning: 1. Who are my students? 2. What do I know of their age, this time, this place? (What is the context?) 3. What are my aims? (Overarching educational goals – long range goals) 4. What do I want students to understand? (key ideas that you want the students to grasp) 5. How will students demonstrate what they have learned? (actions in which students show what they have learned – students will be able to explain meaning of ...). 6. What materials will I need? 7. What methods are appropriate to this lesson? 8. What are the key questions that I will employ? 9. What kinds of challenges may I anticipate? 10. For which problems may I willingly set aside my lesson plan? 11. At which points will I summarize the material? 12. How am I appealing to different kinds of senses (hearing, seeing, touching) and various kinds of intelligence and learning styles? 13. Am I appealing to my... read more

I had the pleasure today to teach my Tuesday 2 small classes of 3rd grades the 3rd session in Hebrew. I introduced them to the letters Shin and Mem together with the "ah" vowel. And we had fun approaching this subject! We first learned how to pronounce the vowel, then add a letter and figure out the sound it makes. Then I taped on each one's forehead either a "shin", "mem" or a vowel and the students had to guess who they are by asking others what sound they make, are they a vowel, what kind of a vowel, etc. Last but not least we made letters by making a student who had a letter on his forehead pear up with another one who had a vowel, and the entire class had to guess what kind of a sound the letter makes. Boy it was fun!

One may always be grammatically correct or use a wide variety of vocabulary in a foreign language. However, this means absolutely nothing if one cannot pronounce words and phrases correctly. When I was learning Spanish in school, my teachers rarely corrected my pronunciation. It wasn't until I traveled to Spain that I learned how to pronounce words correctly. Emphasizing pronunciation is something I feel a lot of foreign language teachers/tutors overlook and don't emphasize enough in their teaching. Here are some tips for foreign language tutors and teachers to emphasize pronunciation more in their lessons. 1. Start lessons going over the alphabet in the target language I always begin a lesson by going over the alphabet. It is the most basic lesson, yet crucial lesson for beginners. Beginners can become familiar with the language without feeling overwhelmed. I have homemade index card with the letter and the sound underneath. On the other side of the card I have a word with... read more

People may wonder why I list Biblical Greek and Hebrew as languages that I know, yet I am not listed as a Greek or Hebrew tutor. The reason is that WyzAnt, due to subject demand, focuses on the current languages whereas I have studied their Biblical forms. Although similar, these languages are different enough that I don't feel justified naming myself as a tutor for them in their current forms. I cannot converse in these languages, but I can study ancient texts such as the Bible. This is an important clarification to make and one that many people do not understand. Regardless, should anyone be interested in learning Biblical Greek and Biblical Hebrew, I would be glad to assist them. Thrilled, in fact. The reasons for learning these languages are numerous, even if you're not a Christian. The Bible was not the only text written in Biblical Greek or Biblical Hebrew, though it is the most well-known. Classical Greek is very similar to Biblical Greek. Even though I have never studied... read more

2005 - Inquiry about tutoring students with special needs. -----Original Message----- Subject: [IWORSHIP] B'nei Mitzvah and transliterations Dear friends, If you are presented with a student who is not mentally challenged but is language challenged, do you allow an English transliteration of their Torah portion to be used for learning purposes? Do you allow these transliterations to be placed in the Torah on the day of the ceremony? Do you allow Hebrew-with-vowels sheets to be placed in the Torah? We are having an on-going philosophical question about allowing transliterations to be used when a student just can't "get it." (Some of the kids have terrible memories. Some of the kids can barely read English). If we said, "No, you can't do it from a transliteration and therefore you won't "read" from the Torah nor will we make it APPEAR that you are reading from the Torah, would this diminish the sense of becoming a Bar or Bat and diminish the... read more

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