Hebrew has taken a bit of a back burner while working on a couple other languages.

However I’ve still managed to keep a lot of Hebrew song listening — which has helped me remember the words I learned and keep on getting better acquainted with the sounds.

Then this spring I discovered Hello Talk.I downloaded the app and got a lot of practice talking. Hello Talk allows you to make profile with your native language and the language you are learning and connect to other people who are interested in exchanging language practice.

One of the reasons Hello Talk was such a find for me was because I wanted to prepare for this summer’s ulpan in Israel.

I enjoy studying Hebrew by myself but I wanted to try something different and take an official ulpan and see how it helped my language study. Also I wanted to score well in the oral test so that I could progress as much as possible this summer.

The oral test was pretty anti-climatic. (It mainly just was asking what I had studied and whether I had studied with any books. But I was able to conduct almost completely in Hebrew, so I was pleased.)

I got placed in Bet. It’s been good so far. I know almost all the grammar (except for some of the particular rules about the future tense) but am learning a lot of new vocabulary and getting lots of listening and speaking practice.

And it’s fun being reborn into a new language with a group of comrades. No longer am I the only one struggling with new words, wondering how to express something, falling flat on my face trying to create a new sentence, or or puzzled about the meaning of a confusing clause in the text. Instead we are in it together. . . helping each other, encouraging each other, sometimes laughing at each other and helping each other get up and keep going.

The teacher does almost all her teacher-talk in Hebrew and grades her language very well according to what we have studied so far, making her speech more and more complicated as she introduces the grammatical points or vocabulary.

It’s been so fun and such a good immersive experience, I want to come back after this month and take more intensive ulpans as soon as I can.

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