MaTaRoT 2024-2025 Course Descriptions

Short Courses w/ Hebrew at the Center

A Taste of the Hebrew Language: Intro to the Basics
Instructor: Dr. Carmit Burstyn
Dates: 11/3/24-12/15/24
Time: 11am-12:30pm EST
Cost: $360/Prizmah School Network; $400/Outside Prizmah School Network
Location: Zoom
Register: Coming Soon

Do you find yourself trying to remember Hebrew language rules and concepts that you learned in school? Do you look up explanations on verb conjugation and ‘binyanim’ or on types of sentences in language handbooks and online? In this introductory course, we will learn about Hebrew phonology, morphology (the verb system), and syntax. We will get to know basic concepts in linguistics, as well as the historical periods of the Hebrew language. We will reflect on why it is important to know ‘about the language’ in order to understand, write and speak ‘the language’ – in teaching and learning Hebrew as an additional language, and we will consider what we need to know to effectively teach our students a language form. By the end of this course, you will be able to explain core issues in Hebrew grammar, to identify grammar-related potential challenges to learners of Hebrew as an additional language, and to make informed decisions about teaching language forms to students of different proficiency levels.


Making Sense of Input: Developing Listening and Reading Comprehension Skills
Instructor: Dr. Carmit Burstyn
Dates: 1/21/25-2/25/25
Time: 8-9:30pm EST
Cost: $360/Prizmah School Network; $400/Outside Prizmah School Network
Location: Zoom
Register: Coming Soon

What texts and genres are suitable for teaching different proficiency levels and ages? What is the difference between an authentic, semi-authentic, adapted, and artificial text? How to design a lesson around reading or listening comprehension – what will the students do prior to meeting the text? What strategies will they employ to understand it? What will happen after the reading or listening activity? Reading and listening comprehension are complicated tasks that involve linguistic, cognitive and meta-cognitive processes. Cultivating independent readers and listeners is the responsibility of the teachers, and it is on us to utilize the necessary techniques to facilitate text understanding as well as to teach our students a variety of strategies they can adopt and use independently. In this introductory course, we will gain research-based theoretical and practical knowledge on how to teach reading and listening comprehension of a variety of texts and genres, to a variety of student ages and Hebrew proficiency levels. By the end of this course, you will be able to exercise criteria in choosing suitable texts as well as to identify and implement a variety of strategies before, during, and after a reading and listening comprehension activity.


Discovering Hebrew: Nurturing Early Literacy in Hebrew Language Learners
Instructor: Dr. Tali Berkovitch
Dates: 3/3/25-4/7/25
Time: 8pm – 9:30pm
Cost: $360/Prizmah School Network; $400/Outside Prizmah School Network
Location: Zoom
Register: Coming Soon

In our first language, we all learn to read and write early on in our educational journey, after we already speak the language. However, when we teach Hebrew as an additional language, our students learn to read and write in a variety of ages, and more often than not, are new to the language altogether. How is teaching early literacy different in an additional language than in a first language? How to teach early literacy to students of different ages? Is there a specific order to learning to read and write? Should we follow the phonetic or the holistic approach? In this introductory course, we will find research-based answers to these questions and others. We will discuss central concepts and principles, such as phonological awareness and preparedness, the role of vocabulary and meaning in developing reading fluency, and the relationship between reading and writing. We will also consider elements that are endemic to Hebrew – the Nikkud, and print/cursive letters. By the end of this course, you will be able to explain how research-based principles inform the teaching of early literacy, and you will have a general plan of recommended stages in early literacy teaching and one or two lesson plans.