liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
So my two former bar mitzvah students want to carry on with Hebrew now they've both completed their ceremonies. They've said they'd like to do a bit more conversational modern Hebrew as well as just practising prayerbook reading. Does anyone have any recommendations for textbooks?

The boys are 13 and 15, both reasonably academically able and reasonably committed. They can read fairly fluently, but have very little vocab or grammar at the moment. They're also extremely busy and probably won't have huge amounts of time for practice in between their fortnightly lessons. My options at the moment are:
The textbook recommended by the GCSE exam board. I'd generally like the boys to be thinking about GCSE sort of level, not that they hugely have to pass exams but as a streching, but attainable, target. The problem is that the book looks incredibly dated and dull and I don't feel inspired to teach from it!

Or Routledge Introductory Course in Modern Hebrew. I think this is basically aimed at beginners, but beginners who are university students or otherwise quite advanced in general language skills. It's really quite heavy on grammar, and might be overkill for a couple of years of informal lessons for teenagers.

I can't find anything I like better than these two options. I don't want a course that is primarily audio for self-learning, because I'm going to be there teaching and keeping up reading fluency is a big priority. And I don't want just a vocab list or beginners' dictionary. The younger boy suggested using a tourist phrasebook, which might work but ideally I'd like something more like a textbook and less like lists of phrases to rote learn.

Secondly, I still have not succeeded in giving the younger lad his bar mitzvah present, because everything I could think of is out of print and not for sale for reasonable money. I would like to give him a good work of popular non-fiction, something enjoyable to read but also informative. He's quite interested in politics and world affairs, which is a subject I know little about. And he's pretty bright but not especially precocious, I think he'd get more out of something accessible or even aimed at teenagers, than something hardcore academic.

I'm thinking something about the level of Jared Diamond's Guns, germs and steel, except not that because I'm now aware that Diamond not only plays fast and loose with scholarly accuracy, he conducted some rather unethical ethnographic research and published identifying stories about his subjects without their permission. And I have in mind that there used to be a journalist who did short programmes on Radio 4 about US politics and culture, and that he died a few years ago (?) and that prior to that he had written a book of anecdotes that this young man might enjoy, but that's not enough information to shake his name out of Google, does anyone have any clue whom I'm talking about?

So. Anyone who's taught conversational Hebrew, any recs? And in a less specialist query, what's the most interesting popular non-fiction book you've read lately?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 07:26 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
what's the most interesting popular non-fiction book you've read lately?

I feel like I should be able to answer this with something not in the realm of polytheistic religion (because anything in that realm seems wildly inappropriate here somehow XD ) but I am drawing a total blank.

*ponders bookshelves*

...the ratio of "books I own that I can honestly recommend because I have read them" to "books I would like to recommend but can't because I merely own them" is appallingly low :(

Debt: The First 5000 Years, David Graeber
The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values, Nancy Folbre
This Bridge Called My Back 4th ed., ed. Moraga & Anzaldua

APPALLINGLY LOW I TELL YOU though also if we are thinking 'general politics' instead of 'feminist politics' then his interests and mine don't overlap that much to begin with (my most 'world affairs' book is Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Kristoff and WuDunn, but I am not recommending that to anyone without a reread aimed at noting the trigger warnings), and most of the overlap derives from how much economics drives politics!

Of these three, I think he'll have the best luck with Folbre.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 07:40 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I've only read the first chapter, but Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is good so far.

I really liked The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford when I read it some years ago. I can't remember any of the details because it was when C was a baby and I was chronically sleep-deprived, but I *think* it was on a level with Guns, Germs & Steel or possibly a bit easier going. What I do remember is it shaking up some of my preconceptions about political positions through making plausible economic arguments, and one of my ongoing ambitions is to find the time to read it again with enough brain to actually engage with the arguments.

Oh! Sustainable Energy: without the hot air by David MacKay is clearly written, and really interesting, and is relevant to politics!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 08:01 pm (UTC)
ghoti: fish jumping out of bowl (Default)
From: [personal profile] ghoti
We used this book in high school. It might be a little heavy for what they're looking for. Also, I don't know if it's available in the UK.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 08:35 pm (UTC)
damerell: NetHack. (normal)
From: [personal profile] damerell
I recently read and quite enjoyed Mary Beard's _SPQR_.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 09:23 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
And I have in mind that there used to be a journalist who did short programmes on Radio 4 about US politics and culture, and that he died a few years ago (?)

Sounds like Alastair Cooke. I'd hope there's still some of his Letter from America stuff in print.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 09:29 pm (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
WRT the teaching, would a hebrew language newspaper make a useful focus? If you can find one with an online edition, then one you can find in the UK isn't an issue.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-15 10:41 pm (UTC)
ewx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ewx
I enjoyed Debt too.
God’s Crucible (David Levering Lewis) covers Islamic Spain. Some words here, also mentions A History Of Christianity (Diarmid MacCulloch) which is excellent but if Debt might be too dense than that certainly is.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-16 01:42 am (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
You have a book in Britain that's the equivalent of Lies My Teacher Told Me by Loewen? I'm not sure how it would strike a non-American, being concerned with how American history is taught in American schools – and how American political wars for the hearts and minds of the electorate are fought through text books. But it was mindblowing and radicalizing 20 years ago; it made me a much more critical reader of things offered as "history" as well as telling me a bunch of fascinating US history I hadn't known.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-16 03:59 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Various books by Charles Mann reminds me of Guns, Germs, and Steel, but are better researched and better written.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-16 05:29 am (UTC)
dafna: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dafna
Have you looked at the "Hebrew from Scratch" series? It's mostly in Hebrew, but with vocab in English and definitely designed to used in class:

Also, not a textbook, but listening to and translating modern Israeli pop songs was something I enjoyed a lot in Hebrew class back in the day. And these days you can probably just print lyrics off various online sites.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-24 07:14 pm (UTC)
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
From: [personal profile] ruthi
There used to be books for older children and teen-agers with vowel-marks -
So, I mean, not just for tiny children -

And you can still find some, I mean I found a translation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde , here

or there are newer books for children that have vowels.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

Page Summary

Top topics

September 2017

345 6789
17 181920212223

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Subscription Filters