eTeacherHebrew Full Review
The eTeacher Group is one of the largest online language academies in the world. It offers language instruction from verified, native speakers including Hebrew lessons. The company has passed thousands of students through its language courses and supports users from all around the world.
To simplify the process for students and teachers, all instruction is done in Hebrew. This means your classmates may be from many other countries but all will be speaking with you at the same Hebrew level to help you learn.
The system relies on multimedia teaching, so your instructor will provide lesson plans through a variety of different books, presentations, videos and even TV shows such as the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
This service is built for people that are committed to making classes because the instruction relies mostly on them and you pay for classes, whether or not you attend them.
How it works
eTeacherHebrew combines pre-made lesson plans and learning materials with live instruction from live, certified teachers in a virtual environment.
Courses are offered at multiple times of day during the week and on Sundays. Students are able to choose the time of their class when they signup. Classes meet once a week over an 8 or 9 month timeframe and each class is 55 minutes long. The service also offers enrichment sessions each week for Q&A or homework help.
The teaching method is called Ulpan and was first used when Israel was created in 1948 in order to teach Hebrew to immigrants. The style uses only Hebrew and focuses on basic vocabulary around holidays, traditions, culture and common words.
You’ll be using your PC to log in to a virtual classroom and are required to actively participate in the lessons in order to create an intimacy between you and the language. The service uses video conferencing technology so you can see your professor and any multimedia they want to use to teach the lesson.
Your teacher will always be a certified Hebrew instructor and will only give instruction in Hebrew.
According to the company, eTeacher materials include videos, PowerPoint presentations, images, text and some pre-recorded audio. Most of these are made available for you to download after a lesson, though some come to you before the lesson plans start.
These materials as well as lectures make up part of the assessments, drills and comprehension services provided by eTeacher. This setup means you’ll have homework!
You’ll initially get a package from eTeacher before starting your lessons that contains:
- Course workbooks;
- CDs of materials;
- Instruction packet and materials overview;
- A headset to connect to your PC.
- Hebrew letter stickers to add to your keyboard so it serves as both an English and Hebrew keyboard.
Your computer screen can be shared with the teacher or class, that way the class can research topics or surf the Web together to find real-world examples of lesson materials. If you have a webcam, you can also turn it on so the teacher can see you during class.
Once you sign up for the service, you’ll receive access to other materials and lessons that aren’t necessarily specific to your class or teacher. These include:
- A forum for asking and answering questions about homework or other topics;
- Homework checks by staff members. These are returned through the company’s system and may include downloads to check workbook problems.
- 24/7 technical support.
The company offers a wide variety of language packages for complete newbies or children through native speakers that want to learn specific Hebrew dialects or have a historical understanding of the occasion.
How do I know if this service can be helpful for me? How to choose the right plan/level?
The company recommends using its website or phone number to contact the support staff in order to sign up for the most appropriate class. eTeacher offers 5 different levels of Hebrew instruction as well as two courses specifically for children and courses on Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Yiddish.
Each course has two intensity levels, one that meets twice a week for nine months and the other that meets once a week for eight months. Courses cost roughly $1,200, but costs are finalized when you sign up and may differ from that estimate depending on the schedule and availability.
The courses themselves include:
- Hebrew for Adults 1: This course is for adults who do not know any of the Hebrew language. It focuses on simple reading and basic vocabulary for speaking. The end-goal is to have students learn roughly 500 words and be able to hold basic conversations in Modern Hebrew.
- Hebrew for Adults 2: This course is for adults who can already hold a basic conversation in Hebrew, know the alphabet, and can write short sentences. The course teaches more advanced lessons such as expressing feelings, using correct grammar, and learning to write short sentences and essays.
- Hebrew for Adults 3: This course is for adults who can hold basic conversations in Hebrew as well as read and write a variety of texts; it is mainly for improving fluency. Students will learn how to express themselves clearly, read and write complex sentences, understand complex grammatical structures, and improve their vocabulary.
- Hebrew for Adults 4: This course is for adults who can converse in Hebrew easily and read items in Hebrew newspapers and websites. This course works on developing a deep vocabulary, write complex sentences and texts, learn Israeli culture, and master Hebrew structure.
- Hebrew for Adults 5: This course is for adults who can freely read, write and speak in Hebrew about a wide variety of topics. The course teaches adults how to surf the Web in Hebrew, expand their vocabulary in specific niches, learn new terms popularize in pop culture and media for Israeli journalism, and read an entire Hebrew newspaper on their own.
- Hebrew for Children 1: This course is for children aged 7 to 16 (classes are spilt among ages) who have no prior knowledge of Hebrew but can read and write in their own native language. It will teach students roughly 500 words, basic alphabet and sentence understanding, and simple conversations for special occasions like holidays.
- Hebrew for Children 2: This course is for children aged 7 to 16 (classes are spilt among ages) who have exposure and some understanding of Hebrew but it isn’t their native language. Students learn basic expression, simple writing, conversations, and grammatical structures such as present and past tense, prepositions, and verb conjugation.
- There are many positive reviews around the Web for the teachers themselves.
- If you accidently sign up for a class that is too advanced or too simple, eTeacher will move you to the appropriate class at no extra charge.
- It offers a wide range of courses that can be tailored to your experience.
- Students have found the forums and homework checking to be very helpful and have prompt responses.
- Tech support is highly recommended by users.
- Study materials arrive well before classes begin.
- Courses make language learning difficult but fun.
- There are opportunities for one-on-one learning.
- Instruction is only in Hebrew.
- The company claims to be the exclusive holder of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ franchise to teach Hebrew online and have associations with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but reviewers around the Web are sometimes unable to confirm this and do not get credentials or certificates mentioning either group.
- The website offers no pricing information and provides different course durations than its phone customer support.
- Enrichment sessions are listed as complimentary but are actually counted as sessions you pay for when figuring out the price of a course.
- Some users report having teachers from the United States and other countries despite the eTeacher website saying all faculty members currently live in Jerusalem.
• Are there free eTeacher learning materials?
The company provides extra materials at: http://eteacherhebrew.com/learn-hebrew/hebrew-language-toolbox
• Who are the teachers?
The service says all teachers are native speakers who live and work in Israel, and have college level degrees in language instruction.
• How do I know what level I should start with?
The service recommends you call or fill out an online contact form to evaluate your skill level with a counselor.
• What are the advantages over independent learning programs?
eTeacher says the advantage is a combination of live online sessions plus support in answering questions and correcting pronunciation that independent programs don’t offer.
• What if I need additional assistance with my homework?
The service offers a forum for asking questions as well as a homework review service. You can also setup personal sessions with your teacher.
• What if I miss a class?
In case you miss a class, all of the lessons are recorded and kept on the company’s servers so you can watch them at your convenience.
eTeacherHebrew offers a very compelling strategy to teach Hebrew. The virtual classroom combines many strong elements of participation and various lesson plans while allowing you to be comfortable as you learn. Immersion programs that teach foreign languages only in that language are consistently shown to provide better results than bilingual learning, but this can be off-putting for some new users. The only difficult part of the process is nailing down the cost of your program. The company’s website offers differing estimates, but phone representatives can provide a final cost, which were told is around $1,200 per course.
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