Learn Hebrew Pod Full Review
Learn Hebrew Pod is a website created by teachers of Hebrew in the purpose of utilizing modern web technology in order to teach Hebrew using interactive methods. The site was founded in 2008 and it provides Hebrew Lessons in three levels. The teachers on this website are also actors and their goal is to help you learn Hebrew language in the most natural situations using instructional video and audio materials. The teachers are native speakers living in Israel and they try to teach in real-life situation using language that is used in modern Israel.
Besides available lessons and other materials for learning the language, you can also find out about important Hebrew holidays. You will be able to fully soak up the spirit of Hebrew culture through interesting stories about historical background, traditional food, customs and greetings related to the most important Hebrew holidays.
How it works?
There are several main courses for learning Hebrew on Learn Hebrew Pod. Free materials that are available for each course can help you determine your level of Hebrew, but payment is required in order to get full access to the course.
This course is aimed at helping you learn to speak Hebrew through the interactive lessons. Each lesson has several parts which include audio learning part, a quiz and additional interactive learning games and reading tutorials.
Lessons are grouped into three categories:
Each of these groups has one free lesson so you can test your level using audio and video materials available in the free lesson. This way you can choose the course that will be best for your level of proficiency.
Here’s an example of a lesson for beginners:
At the top of the page you can see the title and the goals of the lesson in terms of grammar and vocabulary. Click “Read more” sign to read more detailed description of the lesson and to learn which situations will be presented within this lesson.
The next segment is called “Audio Learning Sessions”. There are three audio parts for this lesson and you can listen to the audio material or watch a video. In addition, it is possible to download the files so you can review the lesson on your iPod or mobile phone. If you wish to follow the text as the speakers communicate, take a look at “PDF Transcript”.
After you get acquainted with the lesson and the phrases, you are ready to practice. In this lesson you will practice verbs and pronouns. Here’s how the practice page looks like:
Grammar rules are presented in an illustrative and easy-to-understand way. Click on any of the pictures and you will hear the pronunciation of the phrase you see.
As you finish with the grammar rules, you are ready to practice vocabulary. There are several exercises for practicing vocabulary, but let’s look at the one with the colors:
The vocabulary exercises contain engaging activities and visual aids to help you acquire words quickly. Use the red arrow to select the color you want.
The next section is about reading practice. You will be presented with a short conversation. The goal of the text is to review the phrases that you have learned in the lesson. Click the red arrow to hear a teacher as he or she reads a certain part of the conversation. If you click on the button “Autoplay all phrases” you will be able to hear the entire conversation. At the top of the page you can choose if you want to see translation, transliteration or Nikkud. There are two fonts to choose from, print and script.
In the end you can review the grammar rules and phrases playing a game of a quiz. These exercises help you test your knowledge in an interesting and interactive way, which will increase your motivation for learning. Choose one answer for each question, and when you finish the test, check the results.
As you go on with this course and study different parts, you will see related lessons located at the bottom of the page. If you are studying the vocabulary section, you will see the links for the related vocabulary lessons. The same goes for all other sections, you will see the related lesson for the segment you are practicing. This can help you easily navigate from one lesson to another. In addition, if you have troubles with a lesson because you have forgotten a rule or a word, take a look at one of the related lessons and find the information you need.
The following segment of Learn Hebrew Pod helps you learn how to read Hebrew. Using videos and step-by-step presentations, you will be able to learn to read Hebrew very quickly. The lessons include the Hebrew Alphabet, correct Hebrew pronunciation, instructions for reading vowels in Hebrew as well as the most important rules and exceptions. It is possible to download the lessons and use them on your mobile phone.
There are 32 lessons to help you learn how to read Hebrew. The goal of the each lesson is visible next to the title. Choose between the two fonts, print or script, and click the red button to play the audio.
When learning a language, it is important to understand the history and the culture behind it. This is what makes the foundation of the language as it is known today. The third segment of the website Learn Hebrew Pod is aimed at introducing Jewish Prayers through listening activities. As you listen to the audio, which you can slow down if you wish, you will learn to read and to understand the meaning of the Jewish prayers. You can practice with or without transliteration or translation, and besides practicing on your desktop, you can also learn via your mobile or tablet.
This part of course consists of 50 Jewish prayers. Try out one of several free prayers and see how this can help you out when it comes to learning Hebrew.
An excellent way to learn Hebrew is to study with a private tutor. The teacher will guide you through the learning process and offer help along the way. There are four private tutors to choose from:
- Jonathan and Dan can help you with Hebrew grammar and with some personalized grammar exercises.
- Eran and Liat will help you with pronunciation, accent and vocabulary.
After you select your Hebrew teacher, choose the number of private tutoring sessions and then the teacher will contact you to schedule the dates and times for the session. The online 30-minute sessions are completely personalized. The lessons are done via Skype or phone, and they are based on the Learn Hebrew Pod programs available on the site. You need to choose a lesson you wish to practice with your tutor during the session. The tutor will help you with additional explanations and exercises, and you can ask any questions you might have.
This part of the website is dedicated to exploring the culture by learning about the most important holidays. Besides learning about the holidays and history, you will also learn about the vocabulary and stories related to a certain holiday. In addition, you can find songs, videos and other interesting materials that can guide you through the Jewish culture. You will learn about the following Jewish holidays:
- Rosh HaShana
- Yom Kippur
For example, if you choose to learn about Chanukah, you will get access to several articles about this holiday. Besides the introduction and historical background of this holiday, you will also learn about traditional meals prepared during Chanukah. You can also practice reading and learn the vocabulary related to this holiday. Find interesting songs, videos and other resources within the “Cool Links” sections. There are also games, cards and other interesting activities in the “Let’s Get Busy” section, so you can use them to help your children with learning Hebrew language and customs. You can learn about Jewish holidays for free, as there is no payment required for accessing this part of the website.
Due to the fact that lessons are very diverse in topics and due to the usage of interactive methods, this website is suitable for both teenagers and older learners. With several different levels and payment plans, it is possible to make your customized subscription and choose the course based on what you would like to improve.
How to choose the right plan/level? How do I know if this service can be helpful for me?
If you are not sure which level to choose, you can take a quick test on Learn Hebrew Pod website. There are three tests, one for each level, and they are completely free. Use them to decide which plan you should choose.
There are several subscription plans, depending on the course you are interested in. For example, if you choose “Speaking Hebrew” course for beginners you will pay $65 a year. You can also combine and sign up for “Speaking Hebrew” course and “Jewish Prayers”. The best value you can get is by purchasing all courses at once. This package includes all three levels of “Speaking Hebrew” course, “Reading Hebrew” and “Jewish Prayers” and the subscription for a year is $140.
- Interactive exercises
- Original materials created by native Hebrew teachers
- Cultural elements implemented into the learning process
- Excellent audio quality
- Private tutoring
- Lots of information about Hebrew holidays and tradition for free
- No custom course syllabus
- There is no feedback and assistance during the course, apart for private tutoring sessions
- Private tutoring is a very expensive service, where a single 30-minute session costs $75. As you purchase more sessions at the same time, the price is reduced, so if you buy 20 sessions at once you will pay $30 per session.
• How to download the audio lesson?
You can download the audio by clicking the button “Download” next to the lesson title. All audio files are MP3 files.
• Can I stream the audio on my mobile?
Yes, you can stream the audio. Simply visit www.learnhebrewpod.mobi , sign in and stream the lesson directly without the need to download the content.
• Is there an app?
There is Learn Hebrew Pod app. The app is free and enables you to study Hebrew in pretty much the same way as you would on the website.
Learn Hebrew Pod offers interactive courses that are engaging and will boost your motivation to learn. In addition, the website helps with exploring the culture as you learn the language, which is not that common when it comes to the language courses. The courses are accessible via mobile devices and tablets which is extremely convenient. The lessons are well-designed and aimed at developing multiple language skills at the same time. The exercises are engaging and perfect for reviewing the materials you have studied during the lesson. What the site lacks is instructional feedback during the course. As you go on with the lessons, you will not be able to ask for help or get feedback on your progress, unless you schedule a private tutoring session, which is a bit too costly for a language session.
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