I’ve begun teaching a class of six high school freshman (5 boys, 1 girl) ancient/biblical Hebrew. So much fun! Remember now, I’m in a country parish in the boonies of Wisconsin. My students are respectful and of sweet disposition, not like the city-slicker who is typing these lines.
There are three juniors who want to start Hebrew with me, too.
Negotiations with the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the students' public school districts are underway to allow the students to receive high school and/or college credit for the course and in order to address funding issues. The textbooks and materials to be used are the same as those of the UW Extension Distance Learning courses. The non-discounted cost (excluding my teaching hours, which I consider part of my professional duties) is $800-900 per student per semester. That is more than parents and/or school boards can be expected to cough up.
If all goes well, this group and future groups will progress through 4 to 6 semesters of college-level classical Hebrew before they finish high school.
The method of teaching I am using involves extensive use of online resources, an emphasis on verbal and compositional skills, with the goal being to be able to sight-read and sight-pronounce biblical Hebrew without vowels and translate from Hebrew to English and English to Hebrew. Not your run-of-the-mill biblical Hebrew course, I suppose. But that’s the Hebrew I learned from Ruth Driss, Menahem Mansoor, and E. J. Revell in my youth.
NAPHNet query went out with this content a couple of hours ago and
another high school teacher of Hebrew has already contacted me. How
cool is that.
If anyone knows of a foundation that might be interested in seeding this initiative financially, let me know. In effect, it is an example of pre-seminary education.