Modern Hebrew Beginner II

Course Status: 
CEU code: 
SLTG 5007
CEU credits: 
ECTS credits: 
Academic year: 
Start and end dates: 
9 Jan 2017 - 31 Mar 2017
Szonja Komoroczy

Modern Hebrew II
SLTG 5007

Language course, 3 credits

2016/17 Winter Term

Instructor: Szonja Ráhel Komoróczy

 Office Hours: by appointment



Modern Hebrew

Modern (or Israeli) Hebrew is the standard form of Hebrew spoken today, mainly in Israel. Its roots are in Biblical Hebrew, which died out as a vernacular by the 3rd century BCE, but was used continuously as a liturgical and literary language, and came to be revived as a spoken language in the 19th and 20th centuries – using Biblical Hebrew morphemes, Rabbinic spelling, Sephardi pronunciation, and idioms and calques from Yiddish. In its modern form, it has been highly influenced by Yiddish, Russian, English and Arabic as well.


Over the course of two terms, students with no, or minimal prior knowledge of the language will master the basic principles of writing, reading and speaking Modern Hebrew. Based on their level of Hebrew, they will be exposed to modern Hebrew in various contexts, including basic dialogues, edited newspaper articles, songs, radio and film.

These foundations are useful to anyone involved in Jewish Studies, for the analysis of Hebrew texts and documents, and for understanding Israel and the Middle East.


Goals and learning outcomes

The goals of the course are twofold. On the one hand, by the end of the two terms, course participants will be able to read and write basic Modern Hebrew without vowel signs, will understand basic conversational Hebrew by listening and speaking. On the other hand, through the medium of Hebrew, students will have become acquainted with Israeli culture, art, literature and film.



There will be a new grammatical topic and a new theme introduced each week – geared towards the needs and levels of the students, with related reading material and vocabulary. Classes will be based on active student participation, and will focus on speaking and reading skills. There will be homework assigned regularly – these assignments are essential for progress and will be discussed in class. Students should be aware that in order to successfully participate in the course, they will have to dedicate extra time outside the classroom (at least double the time we spend in the classroom).



Shulamit Chayat, Sarah Israeli and Hila Kobliner, Hebrew from Scratch, Part 1. (Jerusalem: Academon, 2000).

CD-s accompanying book. (online English/Hebrew dictionary)



Regular attendance (at least 20 sessions out of 24) is mandatory for everyone, including those who are registered only for Audit. (According to the SLTG Guidelines, students signed up for Audit who fail to meet this requirement will be given a W, or withdraw, grade.)



Student performance will be assessed by regular short tests of grammatical issues of ca. ten minutes (30 %), a final exam (30%) and class work (40%).


Grammatical topics

Week 1

• Introductions

• Revision of alphabet, reading, sentence structure

• Noun phrases: masculine, feminine

• Parallel: בנינים, הווה ושם פועל


Week 2

• Noun phrases: plural

• Noun phrases: definite article

• Parallel: פעל ע"ו עבר, עתיד


Week 3

• Verbs and infinitives: ע"ו

• Parallel: פעל עבר, שם פועל, שם פעולה

Week 4

• Verbs and infinitives: פעל

• Parallel: פיעל עבר, עתיד


Week 5

• Revision: numbers 1-10 in masculine and feminine

• Parallel: הפעיל עבר, עתיד



Week 6

• Mid-term test

• Verbs and infinitives:פ" גרונית

• Impersonal

• Parallel: התפעל עבר, עתיד


Week 7

• Verbs and infinitives: ל" גרונית

• Feminine numbers 11-20

• Parallel: פעל ע' גרונית ול' גרונית עבר


Week 8

• Verbs and infinitives: ל"ה

• Negative

• Parallel: פעל ע' גרונית ול' גרונית, עתיד


Week 9

• Feminine numbers 21-100

• שום דבר

• כל \ כל ה- \ הכל

• Parallel: שם פעולה


Week 10

• Masculine numbers 11-20

• Verbs and infinitives: פיעל

• Parallel: שם פעולה


Week 11

• Masculine numbers 21-100

• Gender and number in nominal clauses

• Parallel: חזרה על מספרים ופעלים


Week 12

• Revision

• Written final exam