JTSA Ivriyon: Hebrew Immersion Institute for Day School Educators

The Ivriyon summer institute prepares day school educators to teach Judaic subjects engagingly and effectively in Hebrew. The program combines intensive language immersion with powerful learning experiences to strengthen participating educators’ Hebrew language skills.

What Participants Gain

The four-week, full-time immersion program focuses on developing participants’ expressive skills through intensive communicative practice, writing, grammar review, and vocabulary expansion. At Ivriyon, educators will learn to:

  • Teach their lessons in Hebrew
  • Create a Hebrew environment in their classrooms
  • Lead discussions in Hebrew with students
  • Write grammatically correct exercises and instructions
  • Help students articulate ideas and feelings in Hebrew
  • Converse comfortably with Hebrew-speaking colleagues

After the summer immersion program, each participant will be assigned a mentor to work with throughout the school year.

Who It’s For

Ivriyon is designed for day school teachers of grades K–12 and for graduate students of Jewish education who plan to teach in a day school.

Participants should come to Ivriyon with an intermediate level of Hebrew.

High-intermediate proficiency is a stage of linguistic development at which the basic language structures and general vocabulary have been learned and can be activated fairly fluently (though with errors) in controlled or preplanned communicative situations and over a limited range of topics. The description is based on the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Expectations for Incoming Ivriyon Participants

  • Speaking: Participants can describe self and family, daily routines, and environment; narrate past events; and discuss future plans using present- and past-tense verbs. They are likely to have trouble with irregular conjugations and uncertain control of the future tense. They can handle simple, everyday communicative tasks and social situations, and express opinions in simple terms.
  • Reading: Participants can read vocalized text without errors but read unfamiliar unvocalized text inaccurately and slowly. They can extract general information from simplified narrative, descriptive, and discursive texts, though they may rely more on lexical clues and overall context for deriving meaning than on grammatical relations. They have to read material several times for understanding.
  • Listening: Listening at the high-intermediate level is characterized by ability to understand sentence-length utterances uttered at a normal pace, as well as questions asked in context or repeated. The learners can gather the main gist of an overheard conversation on familiar topics, but need vocabulary preparation and contextual support in order to understand a lecture on an abstract topic.
  • Writing: Participants can compose a short letter, a diary entry, a description of a problem, etc., with some spelling and grammar errors and basic vocabulary. Overall, the writing reflects the individual writer’s speech.

Program Structure

A typical day includes:

  • Warm-up: Participants begin the day with a casual conversation in Hebrew to develop ease of expression while integrating new vocabulary and grammar.
  • Dikduk: Small group sessions focus on improving Hebrew grammar, especially the verb system and syntax.
  • Classroom Simulations: Participants rotate teaching sample lessons in Hebrew while fellow participants act as class members. Lessons are followed by constructive feedback and reflection.
  • Hebrew Educational Technology: In JTS’s well-equipped language lab, participants strengthen their Hebrew keyboarding skills, learn to use Hebrew software, and explore online teaching resources.
  • Individual Projects: Each participant chooses an educational project in Hebrew to develop over the course of the program and present at the program’s closing session.

Instructors

The instructors are native Hebrew speakers who are veteran members of the JTS Hebrew Language faculty.

Interactive Environment

We believe that Hebrew is best learned in an environment that is interactive and fun. Ivriyon has a small student-teacher ratio, and class time includes Hebrew conversations, the teaching of model lessons, and Hebrew workshops and presentations. You will strengthen your communicative skills, go on Hebrew field trips, and participate in workshops with experts on the teaching of Jewish studies in Hebrew.

Apply here

Ivriyon is generously funded by The AVI CHAI Foundation.

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