On-line Classes


1. Student Levels / Objectives
    1.1  Beginners
     1.2  Elementary
     1.3  Intermediate
     1.4  Textual criticism
     1.5  Text discussions

2. Methodology
    2.1 Class Schedules
     2.2 Class Sizes
     2.3 Class Structure
     2.4 Study Buddies

3. Fees
     3.1 Class Fees     
     3.2 Payment Methods

4. Curricula
    4.1  Beginners
     4.2  Elementary
     4.3  Intermediate
     4.4  Textual criticism
     4.5  Text discussions

5. Useful links
      5.1  Troubador Publishing Group
      5.2  Biblehub
      5.3  YouTube

1. Student Levels / Objectives

1.1 Beginners (Volume 1)

1.1.1 Target Population

All over the world there are people from all walks of life that love to read the Tanakh / Hebrew Bible / Christian Old Testament. Many of them have always been fascinated by biblical Hebrew and have wondered what it would be like to be able to read the Hebrew Bible in the language that it was originally written in. 

They would like to spend some time studying the language but for a number of reasons have never embarked on such an adventure. There might be several reasons for this:
a) Some believe that the language can be mastered only by those with superior intellectual abilities. This is definitely a false assumption. I, for one, am evidently of a bit below the average intelligence level, but I have not encountered a single concept in the needed grammar that I could not with a bit of effort eventually internalize for myself. (Sure, I have read many publications dealing with highly technical issues, where I had little or no idea of what the author is trying to say). 
b) They do not have the opportunity to get involved in a formal academic program at a tertiary institution, and have no interest in obtaining a formal academic qualification in this field. I believe that this series will provide a viable opportunity to many.
c) They want to be able to study at their own pace, and do not want to be placed under the pressure of having to meet assignment deadlines and/or to pass a formal examination.
d) They cannot / do not want to spend vast amounts of money on class fees and textbooks in their quest to master the language.
e) They do not want to get involved in highly technical aspects of the language. They simply want to be able to read and understand as much as possible of the original text.

If you consider yourself to be one of the above-mentioned people, be rest assured that I am exactly such a person as well, and that it was with someone like you in mind that I wrote Volume 1.
All the volumes are self-study textbooks. This means that you could get very far without the help of a tutor. The objective of the on-line classes are to assist you in solving problems instantly, instead of spending hours looking for the answer by yourself.

With a hard copy of Volume 1 in hand, you do not have to purchase any other books. At this stage you do not even have to buy a dictionary. The word lists found in Volume 1 contain sufficient material, and additional materials are available free of charge on websites like Biblehub.com. Hebrew Bibles are available free of charge at a number of websites.

Hard copy and e-book formats both have their advantages. A hard copy enables one to make additional notes exactly where needed, and physically look at more than one page at a time. On the other hand, an e-book is less expensive, more durable and more portable.

1.1.2 Objectives

After you have worked through Volume 1 you will be able to read and understand a vast amount of text in the Hebrew Bible. This is particularly true of the books that contain historic narratives. Included in Volume 1 are almost all the basic grammar structures you will need, as well as all the nouns, the regular "strong verbs," as well as elements like numbers, pronouns, and prepositions. In biblical Hebrew the so-called "Strong Verbs" are the most frequently encountered, and fortunately the most simple to master. However, there are many other verb classes that are more intricate and irregular. They are dealt with in Volumes 2 & 3. You will therefore not be able to fully understand sentences that contain these irregular verbs. However, in many instances the context of the sentence will help you to get a pretty good idea of what the text is saying. For example, you will be able to read Gen 1:1 completely although it does contain what is a so-called a "weak verb" ending in an aleph.

     1.2  Elementary (Volume 2)

1.1.1 Target Population

All over

     1.3  Intermediate (Volume 3)

1.1.1 Target Population

All over

     1.4  Textual criticism (Volume 4)

1.1.1 Target Population

All over

     1.5  Text discussions (Volume 5)

1.1.1 Target Population

All over

2. Methodology

 2.1  Class Schedules

2.1.1 Times
I am currently employed as an ESL teacher in Vietnam. It is common in our industry for teachers to have only 20-30 hours of actual class time per week. This means that I have substantial hours available for teaching online. These times are spread over all the days of the week. This, together with the fact that my students are situated in different time zones, makes it possible for me to present classes at almost any time that suits them. 

2.1.2 Class Frequency
Past experience has shown that in order to keep your enthusiasm and focus strong, and to discuss and solve any possible problems, you need to meet a tutor at least once a week for at least an hour. 

2.1.3 Course Duration
This will depend entirely on how much time you are able to spend working with the language. In the past I have found that, excluding class time, students spend from 2-5 hours per week. Students get a kick out of something as simple as being able to recite the Hebrew alphabet after a week or two.

Generally speaking, and with the above in mind, you should be able to, on average, work through one chapter per week to complete Chapters 1-21. Chapters 1 & 2 will take more time. Chapters 10, 17, and 18 involve a lot, but others like Chapters 3, 6, 9, and 19 are substantially shorter. In other words, about 6 months. Chapters 22-29 usually takes another 24 weeks to master for a total of about one year.

2.1.4 Becoming discouraged
An age old pedagogic principle that I strongly believe in, and has been well proven in my previous classes, is Practice makes perfect. We practice when learning to play a musical instrument, but when studying a language I like to change that and say, Review makes perfect. Consecutive lessons in Volume 1 are accumulative as well. In other words, when starting a new lesson we are building on what we already know, and are constantly referring back to and reviewing previous lessons.

One of my toughest tasks as a tutor is to motivate discouraged students. I am forever stressing the fact that Review makes perfect. Please do not become discouraged when you encounter a section that seems to be too much for you. Remember that we are building a foundation here, and we will encounter that concept over and over again as we build on it. Be rest assured that at some point even those difficult sections will become one of your skills, and from then on you will be able to effortlessly implement it into future texts when and where needed.

    2.2  Class Sizes

2.2.1 One-on-One
It is clear that one-on-one classes have distinct advantages:
a) The student enjoys the undivided attention of the tutor for the full duration of the class. 
b) The tutor is able to adjust his teaching style and speed to perfectly fit the level and specific needs of the student.

The major disadvantage of one-on-one classes is that it is the most costly teaching option.

2.2.2 Group Classes
Conversely, group classes have the following disadvantages:
a) Individual students are not able to enjoy the undivided attention of the teacher.
b) The teacher has to focus on the needs of the average student. Above-average students will find the class boring, while slower students will not be able to keep up with the rest of the class.

The advantages of a group class include the positive effect of group dynamics, and the reduction of the costs for any one individual student.

    2.3  Class Structure

2.3.1 Lesson plan
The following lesson plan will be used for one-one-one as well as group classes:

1. Review. 
The students will, by means of a summary by the tutor, be reminded of what was dealt with in the previous lesson. If needed, the students will be given the opportunity to ask questions on any outstanding issues that they might have.

2. Presentation of new material.
Note: In preparation for a class, the students will have gone through the new material as it was agreed on in the previous class. Here the teacher will work through the material with the students and add additional comments and/or explanations where and when needed.

3. Feedback.
By asking them questions, the teacher will receive feedback from the students and so identify any possible problem areas in the newly acquired material.

4. Planning.
The teacher and students will plan the activities for the forthcoming week. They will decide which new work has to be covered, and decide if any assignments and/or exercises that will have to be completed before the next lesson.

    2.4  Study Buddies

2.4.1 Pairs
My former students have proven that speaking to one's peers often leads to new insights into the material. In addition, it seems to have a dramatic effect on improving motivational levels. 

In the case of one-on-one tutoring, I will try and bring two students that are on approximately the same level into contact with one another. Such pairs will then be able to confer with each other at times convenient to them both. 

2.4.2 Study Groups
I have also found that group classes often organize themselves into pairs and/or into smaller study groups that meet and have informal discussions wherever and whenever they find it convenient.

3. Fees

3.1 Class fees

I have no fixed class fee rate. The reasons for this are twofold:
    1. I feel that I should never exclude anyone from a class or a tutoring                        opportunity because of financial constraints. 
    2. Exchange rates do not accurately reflect how much a currency is worth                within a particular country. (The Big Mac Index was created to reflect this).

I therefore ask prospective students how much of their local currency they are prepared to spend on their studies per month. I then decide on how much time I am prepared to spend with them for the available amount.

 3.2 Payment methods


4. Curricula

 4.1  Beginners (Volume 1)

4.1.1 Introduction
1. Introduce myself.
2. Overview of the course.
3. Student introduction. Expectations.

4.1.2 Internet Tools
Refer to section 5 below.
1. Biblehub.com
2. YouTube
3. The Sar Shalom Bible

4.1.3 Chapters 1 - 21
1. General grammar principles.

4.1.3 Chapters 22 - 29
1. The Strong Verbs.

   4.2  Elementary (Volume 2)


     4.3  Intermediate (Volume 3)


     4.4  Textual criticism (Volume 4)


     4.5  Text discussions (Volume 5)


5. Useful links

5.1 Troubador
All the volumes in the Biblical Hebrew for All series will eventually be    available from the Troubador Publishing Group. Matador is a imprint for
self-publishing within the Troubador Group. They have a Bookshop from where hard copies of the books in the series can be purchased and be shipped all over the world.

The series will be available in an e-book format from all renowned e-book retail outlets such as amazon.com, kobo.com, and scribd.com.

          Projected publishing dates are as follows:
          Volume 1: December 2020
          Volume 2: March 2021
          Volume 3: May 2021
          Volume 4: July 2021
          Volume 5: September 2021

5.2 Biblehub

5.3 YouTube

5.4 The Sar Shalom Bible