With the continued expansion and progress of modern technology and media, we now have a larger set of tools to teach Hebrew than ever. Perhaps one of the most obvious such tools is through the use of Israeli movies to help us teach Hebrew in a more interesting and effective fashion. Teaching Hebrew using Israeli movies has a number of significant and unique positive benefits, only a few of which will be discussed here.
When people watch movies, provided that they are interesting or at least entertaining, the viewers claim a stake in the story unfolding before them. If you are using an Israeli movie as a tool for teaching Hebrew, as long as you choose a good movie, the students will become interested in the story and subsequently pay attention to it. Due to the fact that getting students to pay attention in class can be one of a teacher’s most difficult struggles, if you choose a good movie and therefore command the students’ attentions, the battle is half won!
Depending on the level of the class’s knowledge of Hebrew, you may want to have subtitles or not. Using subtitles is a great way of improving students’ Hebrew comprehension, even for more advanced levels. As the students read the subtitles in their native language, they are actually internalizing and integrating what they are hearing and seeing on the screen with what they are reading below. The amazing part about this process is that it occurs whether the Hebrew students are aware of it or not. As they become more involved in the movie’s story, again depending on the level, they may begin to want to watch without the assistance of the subtitles! Using Israeli movies to teach Hebrew can be an extremely useful, effective and interesting tool for both the Hebrew teachers and students.