Thursday, June 26, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions: Why learn Hebrew through a touring program???

Why learn Hebrew while touring NYC?
Well, the question really should be “why not???

Learning a language is about communication and effective sharing of information.  It’s not about passing a test in a room with four walls.  So, if we can practice making ourselves understood anywhere, why not practice while doing something fun?!

Where does the concept of City Explorers come from?
NYC is home to many different cultural venues.  Why not take advantage of the talent and skill of the many native Hebrew speaking tour guides, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, artists and artisans in the city?  

The sightseeing component adds an extra element of motivation to language studies and creates unforgettable location-centric memories.  

What can participants expect to learn?
We know that there are many different ways to learn a language, so we focus on strategies that can be applied to every situation and every subject.  

Participants will be surrounded by the sounds of the Hebrew language and engage in hands-on experiences during the program.  Through the lens of language exploration, participants pay attention to their brain’s efforts to make sense of information and develop tools and strategies to advance their understanding.  

Join us in stepping out of the classroom and into the great, wide, communicative world!

Who is this geared for?
City Explorers are children ages 6 -- 11 who are excited about Hebrew language and are looking for a different kind of learning experience.  Some (English) writing skills are helpful as students will have opportunities to reflect on their experiences at different points throughout the program.

All levels--from absolute beginner to native speaker--welcome and supported.

Does my child need to know any Hebrew to participate?  What if his/her Hebrew skills are rusty?  
There will be activities appropriate for different levels of Hebrew, and all will be supported throughout the program.  The games, scavenger hunts and discussions will be led by our talented Strategic Hebrew fellows who are prepared to work with mixed age and ability groups.

Don’t sweat it… we’ll give your children all the vocabulary and tools they need to enjoy the program!

They will come away with some new vocabulary, but more than that, they will have the opportunity to watch themselves figure out what to do and how to make themselves understood in this Hebrew centered environment.

What if I am a native speaker and my children are fluent?
Your children are welcome to come along and help contribute to the Hebrew atmosphere we strive to cultivate.  Of course, they won’t be stuck with the beginning language learners all day!  All activities are led by native speakers who maintain a high level of Hebrew exposure throughout the program.  

There will be activities appropriate to each conversational level, and really… who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo?

Who are the counselors?
Small groups of Explorers are led by Fellows who have taken part in the Strategic Hebrew Leaders Fellowship.  American high school students with strong language skills, Fellows have spent time studying the process of language acquisition and are prepared to guide your children through their experience.

For an in-depth look at our training program, check out our recap of the Strategic Hebrew Leaders Fellowship in 2013.  

Tell me more about the team?
Amy Fechter, Program Director, is also Curriculum Strategist at Strategic Hebrew, Inc. Winner of the 2013 Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, Amy brings over a decade of classroom experience with students ages 3-adult.  In founding Strategic Hebrew, Amy incorporated the principles of constructivist learning from Bank Street College of Education, where she received her Masters’ Degree in Literacy.  She delights in inspiring confidence and cultivating popcorn moments among American Hebrew speakers.

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