Modern Hebrew for Beginners: A Multimedia Program for Students at the Beginning and Intermediate Levels
Raizen (Esther)
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Cover Blurb

  1. Modern Hebrew for Beginners offers secondary school, college, and independent-study students a state-of-the-art learning experience. This combination text and workbook is designed to be used with web-based audio, visual, and interactive materials to give students multiple learning opportunities suited to a variety of learning styles. The program provides for intense practice of all four language skills: reading, writing, listening comprehension, and conversation.
  2. Esther Raizen introduces the basic concepts of Hebrew through a wide variety of written and oral activities, many of which are offered through a dedicated website rich with computer tutorials and short original films based on contemporary Israeli life and society. Raizen emphasises the spoken language, while also paying attention to various aspects of normative grammar, of the written language, and of cultural elements associated with Hebrew. With this variety of materials and the capacity for continuous updating via the website, teachers and students will find this book endlessly adaptable and highly suitable for self-paced training and a variety of academic settings.
  3. A native of Israel, Esther Raizen is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Texas at Austin.

To the User
  1. Modern Hebrew for Beginners is a multimedia program developed at the University of Texas at Austin. It takes the learners from the beginner to the intermediate-low levels, and, assuming five weekly hours in the classroom, provides for a semester and a half or two semesters of instruction.
  2. The core of the program is this workbook. In addition to a variety of written exercises, it includes vocabulary lists, reading selections, discussions of cultural topics, illustrations of grammar points, suggestions for class and individual oral and written activities, and a final glossary. The workbook is complemented by an Internet site which provides students and teachers with a versatile set of tutorials and other materials. These include short video segments originally scripted and filmed in Israel; vocabulary flashcards with sound; interactive exercises supplementing specific topics included in the workbook or independent of it; sound files parallel to the reading selections in the workbook; and slides which provide visual cues for class or teacher-student conversations. While training with the book only is possible, the computer programs add interest and variety to the learning process.
  3. The site may be accessed at University of Texas: Hebrew Language. The use of the Web allows us to update our materials and add to them at will, and to maintain continuous interaction with teachers and learners. For that reason, we have opted to use the Web rather than create an accompanying CD for the book. The individual exercises and activities are deliberately short and focused on single concepts, as they are geared toward modular training which has been found to be appropriate for our student population. The technology is simple at the most part, which minimizes difficulties in computer use. The materials have been tested on Macintosh and PC computers with a variety of browsers, and have been found to work well with most combinations. Special Hebrew system and/or fonts are not necessary for using the site, and all the electronic components of the program are free and open to all.
  4. The program assumes an English language environment which does not call for immersion, and English is often used as the language of instruction. While proficiency in communication is the basic goal of training, an effort is made here to produce informed learners, who not only know how to perform in Hebrew but are also aware of its history and development, of common differences between the formal and the spoken standards, and of typical problems of learners who are English speakers.
    → Esther Raizen; Austin, Texas, Fall 2005

Table of Contents
    To the User – vii
    Notes on the Hebrew Writing System and Pronunciation – 1
    → § 0.1 The Hebrew writing system — consonants – 1
    → § 0.2 Hebrew vowels – 11
    → § 0.3 A note on transliteration and borrowed words – 19
  1. Unit alef – 20
    Greetings
    Names
    Students in school
    → § 1.1 The conjunction “and” – 24
    → § 1.2 Sentence structure: The simple sentence – 26
    → § 1.3 Gender and number – 27
    → § 1.4 The definite article – 30
  2. Unit bet – 32
    More greetings
    Studying
    Subject pronouns
    School and work,
    "Want", “be able”, "need"
    → § 2.1 Sentence structure: Yes/no questions and negation – 34
    → § 2.2 Sentence structure: Coordinate sentences – 37
    → § 2.3 Verb forms: Present tense and the infinitive – 37
    → § 2.4 Vowel changes with gutterals – 38
    → § 2.5 Gender: Masculine as the common designation – 43
    → § 2.6 Pronouns referring to inanimate nouns – 44
    → § 2.7 Repetition of prepositions – 44
    → § 2.8 The modal1 verbs “can” and “need” – 47
    → § 2.9 Information questions: Sentence structure – 49
  3. Unit gimel – 52
    Where we live
    Introducing people
    Places in Israel
    → § 3.1 The preposition “from” – 55
    → § 3.2 Markers of gender and number – 56
    → § 3.3 Stress shift and vowel change – 58
    → § 3.4 The demonstrative pronouns – 59
  4. Unit dalet – 65
    Time expressions and tenses
    → § 4.1 The root – 65
    → § 4.2 Final-heh verbs – 72
    → § 4.3 Short verbs – 74
    → § 4.4 Adverbs – 77
  5. Unit heh – 82
    Seasons
    The days of the week
    Telling time
    Writing
    → § 5.1 Definiteness – 83
    → § 5.2 The preposition – 90
    → § 5.3 Location and movement – 92
    → § 5.4 The use of because – 93
    → § 5.5 Sentence structure: Reversal of subject and verb in questions – 93
    → § 5.6 Vowels and consonants: Compensatory lengthening – 94
    → § 5.7 The verb “to know” – 95
  6. Unit vav – 97
    Shopping
    Food and eating
    → § 6.1 Nouns of large quantity used in the singular form – 98
    → § 6.2 The adjective “much” – 98
    → § 6.3 Either-or, neither-nor – 99
    → § 6.4 A typical vowel change – 100
    → § 6.5 Adjectives 105
    → § 6.6 Negating an adjective – 106
    → § 6.7 "There is" and "there is not" – 107
    → § 6.8 Sentence structure: Objects fronted for emphasis – 110
  7. Unit zayin – 112
    The weather
    → § 7.1 Prepositions – 112
    → § 7.2 The absence of "it" as a "dummy pronoun" in Hebrew – 119
    → § 7.3 The subordinating particle – 122
    → § 7.4 On the pronunciation of the word “Col” – 23
    → § 7.5 More about definiteness – 123
    → § 7.6 Predicative adjectives and definiteness – 125
  8. Unit chet – 128
    Professions and areas of study
    → § 8.1 More on information questions – 128
    → § 8.2 “When” – 133
    → § 8.3 Third person pronouns as linking elements – 134
    → § 8.4 “To be” in the past tense – 134
    → § 8.5 Vocal, composite, and silent schwas – 136
  9. Unit tet – 141
    Clothing
    → § 9.1 Compound nouns and patterns of change in nouns – 142
    → § 9.2 Adjectives: Agreement in definiteness (review) – 146
    → § 9.3 The direct object – 147
    → § 9.4 Et, the marker of a definite direct object – 148
    → § 9.5 Common errors with Et: Omission and over-generalization – 150
    → § 9.6 Questions about objects of prepositions – 153
  10. Unit yod – 156
    Addresses
    The family
    Counting
    The calendar and birthdays
    → § 10.1 Numbers – 156
    → § 10.2 Ordinal numbers – 157
    → § 10.3 Cardinal numbers – 158
    → § 10.4 Stative verbs – 171
    → § 10.5 More on telling time – 173
  11. Unit yod-alef – 183
    The body
    Directions
    → § 11.1 Structures imparting possession – 184
    → § 11.2 The construct state as a structure indicating possession – 185
    → § 11.3 “Ah” as a marker pointing to a direction – 191
    English/Hebrew glossary – 193
    Hebrew/English glossary – 205

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