Description of Biblical Language Center’s Immersion Courses
The Biblical Language Center’s goal is for students to fluidly read the Bible with a natural and instant comprehension. Therefore, Biblical Language Center (BLC) immersion courses use living language methods in teaching Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek. This means that more than 90% of classroom time is filled with the spoken biblical language. The result is an internalization of the languages which speeds the pace of learning and improves the reading of the biblical text.
Our courses provide for continual usage and varied repetition of the biblical languages within meaningful and comprehensible contexts. This means that students will assimilate the languages with a creative and thorough assortment of interaction. (Within the professional field of second language acquisition, this kind of class is called communicative language learning and provides maximal comprehensible input, techniques that are at the core of the most successful modern language programs in the world.)
One teaching technique used in the BLC classroom experience is Total Physical Response (TPR) where students respond to commands that require physical movement. This practice is based on the parent-child model where a language learner hears and imitates the leader by physically responding to the language. Just as a child follows a parent’s example and begins to internalize the language, so does the BLC student.
TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) is another method used with students as they advance further and interact with the language. TPRS builds language proficiency in the use of grammatical structures through reading and telling stories. BLC teachers guide the class in creating unique stories based on students’ input. By developing these stories completely within an immersed language environment, students further their understanding and thinking within the biblical language.
For homework, students continue to immerse themselves in the language through BLC’s audio-lingual materials. These books and related audio tracks review class work from that day and prepare students for the coming class. Depending on the specific course, the audio tracks will correspond either to picture immersion, dialogues for memory work, texts and narratives for familiarization, and/or drills to practice in workbooks.
Occasional class field trips within Israel will also touch on cultural, geographical and historical information connected to the biblical text. Here, texts are read in their related settings while descriptions to the sites are provided in simple forms of the language.
Students desiring academic credit will write a final exam and be issued a six-credit certificate for the four-week beginning immersion courses (90 academic hours, 6 Continuing Education Units) or a three-credit certificate for the two-week immersion courses (45 academic hours, 3 Continuing Education Units). Transfer of credit depends on the student’s home institution.
2016 Course Offerings
Summer Session 2016
at Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem, Israel
HEB 101. Beginning Biblical Hebrew: “Jonah” (4 weeks, 90 hours)
Course Dates: July 3-July 29, 2016
Orientation: 3 July 2016, Sun (evening)
First Class: 4 July 2016, Mon
Last Class: 29 July 2016, Fri
Course Costs: $1700 (Tuition and Two Field Trips)
See below for Course Description.
HEB 101. Beginning Biblical Hebrew: “Jonah”
Course Prerequisite: Students are required to have listened through Living Biblical Hebrew, Introduction Part One, specifically, Picture Lessons 1-5 and learned to recognize and write the Hebrew alphabet.
Course Description: A beginning Hebrew language course, based on the book of Jonah. Students enter the Hebrew language through in-class TPR (Total Physical Response). Noun and verb morphology and syntax patterns for Biblical Hebrew narrative are introduced and contextually absorbed. The narrative of Jonah is read, with an emphasis on comprehension, combined with memorizing dialogues and Bible passages (Deut 6:4-9), and participating in ‘live’ language drills. The instruction includes a spoken Biblical Hebrew environment to enhance long-term retention and to facilitate future studies in more advanced Biblical Hebrew or other dialects of Hebrew.
Special Note: The session in Israel offers two days of field trips around Jerusalem.
Course Meetings: M-F, 8:30am-12:30pm
Academic Hours: 90
Course Credits: 6
Course Materials: Living Biblical Hebrew, Introduction Part One and Two