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Hebrew is FUNdamental Welcome ברוכים הבאים Questions Tech Support? © Dina Maiben1www.BehrmanHouse.com
What You’ll Get From Today’s Presentation See how Alef Bet Quest works Understand the research on which it’s based Learn how this primer efficiently & effectively teaches Hebrew decoding Know what it can and cannot do for you © Dina Maiben2www.BehrmanHouse.com
Alef Bet Quest ? נשתנה מה Innovative Integrated Learning System Based on Hebrew Reading Research Engaging & Cute © Dina Maiben3www.BehrmanHouse.com
Alef Bet Quest Fully Integrated © Dina Maiben4www.BehrmanHouse.com
Based on Research in Hebrew Reading Learn how Israeli researchers uncovered the secrets of successful Hebrew reading instruction. Examine their findings on efficient & effective Hebrew phonics instruction. Discuss how these findings apply to our classrooms today. © Dina Maiben5www.BehrmanHouse.com
4 Questions for Hebrew Reading 1.Why is learning to decode Hebrew often so difficult? 2.What are the right sequences for introducing letters and vowels? 3.What is the optimum age to begin Hebrew instruction? 4.How can you include meaningful Hebrew language at the primer level? © Dina Maiben6www.BehrmanHouse.com
Survey Says… What is the biggest problem you face in teaching Hebrew decoding? A. Letters that look alike. B. Vowels. C. Not enough time. D. No one at home can help. © Dina Maiben7www.BehrmanHouse.com
1. Why is Learning to Decode Hebrew Often So Difficult? A. Learner Issues B. Subject Matter Issues C. Environmental Issues Subject Matter EnvironmentLearner © Dina Maiben8www.BehrmanHouse.com
Learner Issues General Learning Skills— the “ Rule” Age & Prior Experience with Hebrew Interest & Motivation Tolerance for Frustration © Dina Maiben9www.BehrmanHouse.com
Subject Matter Issues Visually similar (“look alike”) letters Symbols for similar but not identical sounds Single symbols for 2 purposes ( קמץ / שוא ) Two symbols for a single sound ( ט / ת ) Vowels Letters for sounds that don’t exist in English Directionality © Dina Maiben10www.BehrmanHouse.com
Environmental Issues Don’t understand what they’re reading Not enough instructional time English reading strategies do not help No one at home who can provide assistance © Dina Maiben11www.BehrmanHouse.com
Survey Results… © Dina Maiben12www.BehrmanHouse.com
2. What Are the Right Sequences for Introducing Hebrew Letters & Vowels Feitelson’s Team, 1958 Began with error analysis—what was difficult for students. Feitelson’s team conducted classroom experiments to find optimal approaches to Hebrew reading instruction. A. Sequence of Introduction B. Patterns for Reading Drills © Dina Maiben13www.BehrmanHouse.com
A. Introductory Sequences Symbols that are visually similar. Symbols that represent similar, but not identical, sounds. Different symbols that represent a single sound. Single symbols that represents more than one sound. © Dina Maiben14www.BehrmanHouse.com
Three Instructional Sequences 1.Concurrent: Items are introduced together 2.Sequential 1 right after the other: The first item is taught one day, the second is taught in the next session. 3.Separated Sequential: The first item is taught one day, the second is taught later, separated by strings of neutral symbols © Dina Maiben15www.BehrmanHouse.com
Visually Similar Symbols: How Much Effort is Required to Tell Them Apart? English has a few visually similar letters. Most are mirror images: b d p q f t Others share overall shape: g y j i © Dina Maiben16www.BehrmanHouse.com
Hebrew has Many, Many, Many Visually Similar Letters More than 30 letter pairs with only 1 tiny difference. 2 pairs share a general overall shape. 3 pairs are similar when rotated. © Dina Maiben17www.BehrmanHouse.com
Widely Separate Look Alike Letters Introducing visually similar letters together or one right after the other increased the likelihood that students would confuse them! 3 © Dina Maiben18www.BehrmanHouse.com
Hebrew Letters that Represent Similar, But Not Identical Sounds Hebrew has about a dozen pairs of consonant and vowel sounds that are similar. © Dina Maiben19www.BehrmanHouse.com
Widely Separate Similar Sounding Letters & Vowels As with visually similar items, introducing those that sound similar either together or one right after the other, greatly increased the likelihood of confusion. 3 © Dina Maiben20www.BehrmanHouse.com
Multiple Symbols that Represent Single Sounds ץ צ ף פ ן נ ם מ ך כ ק כּ ס שׂ ב ו ע א ך כ ח תּ ת ט ָ ֲ ַ Pairs of regular and final letters. Pairs of unrelated letters that represent the same sound. Combinations Vowels © Dina Maiben21www.BehrmanHouse.com
Introduce All Symbols for a Single Sound Together When these letters were introduced one right after the other or widely separated, the learners tended to recall 1 symbol, but not the other. Less common symbols often forgotten. Compounded by visually similar alternatives. 1 © Dina Maiben22www.BehrmanHouse.com
Two Sounds, One Symbol “ghoti” ְ ָ י ה English has many symbols that represent multiple sounds, and most sounds can be represented in at least two ways. Hebrew has 2 letters & 2 vowel symbols that represent two different sounds each. © Dina Maiben23www.BehrmanHouse.com
Widely Separate 2 Uses of a Single Symbol Because they represent two sounds, they should be treated as symbols that represent similar sounds. Especially important because these items are specifically cited as as causing problems for beginning readers. הַדָג יָד דִינָה ְ ָ 3 © Dina Maiben24www.BehrmanHouse.com
Introductory Sequences: Best Practices If they look similar—widely separate. If they sound similar—widely separate. 2 symbols 1 sound, teach them together. 1 symbol 2 sounds, widely separate. © Dina Maiben25www.BehrmanHouse.com
Alef Bet Quest: Introductory Sequences Look alike letters widely separated. Sound alike letters widely separated. 2 symbols-1 sound taught together. 1 symbol 2 sounds widely separated. © Dina Maiben26www.BehrmanHouse.com
Visually Similar Items— Practice Makes Perfect Need to be able to tell which letter is which in real reading situations. Once the second member of pair introduced, practice is given in visual discrimination— generally self-correcting activity. © Dina Maiben27www.BehrmanHouse.com
Similar Sounding Items— Sound Practice As with fine visual discrimination, practice with fine auditory discrimination is often very helpful. Here, cognates (words that are the same in both languages) are helpful. © Dina Maiben28www.BehrmanHouse.com
2 Symbols 1 Sound— Hebrew Homonyms Identifying homonyms provides students with an interesting way to review different symbols that represent 1 sound. © Dina Maiben29www.BehrmanHouse.com
Questions? ? שאלות © Dina Maiben30www.BehrmanHouse.com
B. Vowels and Drill Patterns בֹּ בִּ בֻּ בַּ בֶּ בָּ גַ דָ הַ אֲ Two possible patterns: Drill 1 consonant with every vowel. Or Drill 1 vowel with every consonant. © Dina Maiben31www.BehrmanHouse.com
Drilling 1 vowel with Every Consonant is More Effective 2 Lines introduce new vowel with letters they have learned. Consistent patterns of vowels. 2 lines more of more complex forms (2-syllable words). 6 short, complete sentences. © Dina Maiben32www.BehrmanHouse.com
Alef Bet Quest— Sequences for Success If they look or sound similar—widely separate. 2 symbols 1 sound, teach them together. 1 symbol 2 sounds, widely separate. Drill individual vowels with each consonant. © Dina Maiben33www.BehrmanHouse.com
Environmental Issues: The More Things Change… A. English reading strategies not help. B. Parents unable to assist. C. Students learning to read a language they don’t know. © Dina Maiben34www.BehrmanHouse.com
A. English Reading Strategies– English Relies on Word Shapes th = the th t = that th s = this or thus th gh = though th gh = through th ght = thought English words vary in length. Many ascending and descending letters give English words distinctive shapes. Fluent readers glance at the beginning & ending of a word, deriving the rest from context. © Dina Maiben35www.BehrmanHouse.com
Hebrew Word Shapes Deriving vocabulary from roots leads to words of 3 to 8 letters on average Hebrew lacks ascending and descending letters. Only 1 ascender ( ל ); only 1 descending letter except for finals ( ק ). Hebrew words are similar in both length and shape, lacking distinctiveness. = ך בּ בָּרוּךְ בַּדֶרֶךְ בְּרִיךְ בְּיָדֶךְ בָּזִיךְ בַּדֶּיךָ © Dina Maiben36www.BehrmanHouse.com
Parental Assistance—Feitelson’s Findings 1950 Reading failure in Israel reaches 50%. Szold Institute hires Feitelson to study causes. 10 classes studied, 9 from immigrant communities, 1 control class from established area. Won Israel Prize in 1953 © Dina Maiben37www.BehrmanHouse.com
B. Parents Unable to Assist— Modern Solutions to Old Problems © Dina Maiben38www.BehrmanHouse.com
How Alef Bet Quest Integrates the Book with the Digital Application Last activity in each lesson provides a key to scoring bonus points in the computer game. Opening of each lesson on digital application reviews what was covered in the book. © Dina Maiben39www.BehrmanHouse.com
Learning to Read a Language They Do Not Know © Dina Maiben40www.BehrmanHouse.com
3. What is the Optimum Age for Learning Hebrew? Are children always better language learners? Critical Period Hypothesis Hebrew as a Heritage Language Brain-based research © Dina Maiben41www.BehrmanHouse.com
Child vs. Adult L2 Acquisition Adults learn L2 faster than children; adolescents fastest of all. Best approach for children: acquire L2. Children attain highest levels. © Dina Maiben42www.BehrmanHouse.com
Critical Period Hypothesis Windows of Opportunity for L1: Circuits in auditory cortex completed by age 1. Syntax—age 5 – 6 Vocabulary—may never close Optimum age for L2 is between 5 and 10 years. © Dina Maiben43www.BehrmanHouse.com
Naturalistic Methods כלב Vocabulary taught without translation. Students deduce meaning from context. Input is a little above learner’s level. © Dina Maiben44www.BehrmanHouse.com
4. How Can We Include Meaningful Hebrew at the Primer level? Companion Reader follows naturalistic approach. © Dina Maiben45www.BehrmanHouse.com
Feitelson’s 3 Stages of Reading Acquisition Vocabulary built from letters & vowels they know. Words for concrete items are taught via pictures. Key words, vocabulary & cognates relate directly to the child’s immediate experiences. © Dina Maiben46www.BehrmanHouse.com
Words Lead to Sentences; Sentences to Stories Vocabulary-driven. Introduce via oral language presentation. Very little grammar taught. Reading comprehension does not necessarily lead to conversation and vice versa. © Dina Maiben47www.BehrmanHouse.com
Questions? ? שאלות © Dina Maiben48www.BehrmanHouse.com
Conclusion © Dina Maiben49www.BehrmanHouse.com
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