This course is taught by Graham Sommers, a Latin and Hebrew instructor for the Davenant Institute and developer of Hebrew tools like Picta Dicta and short stories. He is pursuing his M.A. in Theology at Marquette University. This course is for seminarians or pastors who have had a year of beginning Hebrew but find their muscles unready for the arduous climb of reading the Hebrew Bible unaided.
The course will run from August 24 through December 12.
The core of this class is an extensive reading of easy Hebrew prose stories composed for beginning and intermediate students. These stories fill the gap between the piecemeal sentences that students are confronted with in first year textbooks and the Biblical text. By the end of the course students will have read ten Hebrew short stories, the entire book of Tobit, and selections from the Hebrew Bible.
Vocabulary is acquired through Hebrew Picta Dicta, a new online tool which introduces words through hand-drawn color images. Instead of memorizing English equivalents, students learn to associate the image directly with the Hebrew word.
Active elements of language acquisition are emphasized from the very beginning: students will compose in Hebrew and learn to answer basic questions in Hebrew about the stories they read. Every story is given in both pointed and unpointed Hebrew. Students learn to read unpointed Hebrew prose by listening to an audio recording of the narrative. Finally, students will work their way through the Communicative Hebrew lessons produced by Aleph and Beth which provide an immersive approach to learning the language.
*Note: this course prepares students for the Davenant Hebrew Prose Exam, which is a prerequisite for future Hebrew courses in the Intermediate and Advanced levels.