With advances in easy-to-use computer technology, innumerable people worldwide are now studying both Biblical and modern Hebrew through online courses. Education professionals as well as students are finding that e-learning provides the flexibility and repetition needed to succeed in acquiring a foreign language and affords pupils a way to balance work, family and other educational obligations.
For example, eTeacher, an online language academy, has been teaching foreign languages for 16 years. Roni Segal, academic advisor for eTeacher, told Breaking Israel News that over 30,000 students a year graduate their Hebrew language courses.
“We offer 3-4 Hebrew classes every day worldwide, Sunday through Thursday, day and night,” said Segal. “Our unique learning platform combines personal attention and a flexible schedule which people really appreciate. 90 percent of the people who start our courses successfully complete them.”
The eTeacher lessons are carried out using software called WebEx, a much more advanced system than Skype. This software allows interactions between the students and teacher with a nearly unlimited amount of possibilities.
The teacher and fellow classmates can see each other and ask questions in real time. Materials are displayed and students and teacher can even write on a virtual classroom board. All lessons are recorded and stored on the students’ website. Thus, lessons may be reviewed and practiced anytime.
“One of the advantages of online learning over being in a classroom is the opportunity to review the information whenever the student wants,” explained Segal to Breaking Israel News. “Few people pick up a foreign language on the first attempt and traditional classroom studies often do not offer enough opportunities for each student to practice and review. With online studies, students can learn at their own pace and review information in their spare time.”
eTeacher notes that its most popular course is the study of Biblical Hebrew, with modern Hebrew next in line. Students of their courses include Jews and Christians abroad, Bible scholars, people who yearn to deepen their knowledge of scripture, tourists planning a trip to the Holy Land and those who simply love Israel and want to connect to the holy tongue.
“People interested in Bible studies understand the importance of studying the Bible in its original language to gain the true meaning of the Holy Scriptures,” continued Segal. “People who seek to learn modern Hebrew are usually planning on making aliyah (immigrating to Israel), want to connect to their roots, wish to strengthen their relationships with Hebrew speaking family and friends, have Hebrew-speaking business associates or are planning a vacation in Israel.”
Highlighting the need and desire for people to expand their communication skills worldwide, it is estimated that of the 15 million citizens in the United States alone, 10 million study a foreign language. Recognizing that foreign language study is increasing, eTeacher gives courses in seven languages to include students from around the world.
“With today’s technology, much of which was developed in the Holy Land, reaching beyond the limits of traditional education has expanded the horizons of millions of people worldwide,” said Segal. “Time and distance are no longer a factor for those who want to learn a new language along with other like-minded people from around the world.”
For more information about studying Biblical and Modern Hebrew, click here.