By Hadas Heyman

As a Hebrew language teacher, I’ve always asked myself this question over and over again. My students spend a short amount of time in my class every day, and this time is so precious and valuable. Every second should be planned effectively. My students know that wasting time is a big pet peeve of mine. There is time to write, read, use technology tools to enhance students’ learning, ask questions, discuss, work in a small group or with a partner and also to play games.

As teachers, we want to make sure that our students use the new gained skills outside our classroom. How can I do this in my Hebrew class? What are some good ways to encourage my students to converse in Hebrew and become more proficient in speaking the language?

I just came back from an iTaLAM workshop and this topic was discussed during one of the sessions I attended. I was assigned to work collaboratively with 3 other great educators and c
competed with another team on planning a lesson that was supposed to include opportunities for students to engage in verbal conversation with each other. First, I have to say that acting and role playing is something I despise since I feel that I am terrible at it. But I know that the right thing to do as a teacher is to step out of my comfort zone and take risks, even if my heart was pounding and I was out of breath.

Based on this experience and from listening to other experts in the area, here are a few things to remember:

  • Children make mistakes and learn from them. We need to let them make mistakes and not correct them when they talk and create with the language.

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