Why Our Method?

Comprehensible Input

You may have noticed that our videos use a methodology for teaching that many people have never experienced, especially for the biblical languages. It’s called Comprehensible Input, and it’s one of the most effective pedagogical strategies in the world. It’s not new, and it’s easy to understand. 

Keeping It Simple

Basically, when you learn a language, the most important thing is to hear a lot of the language in a way that is comprehensible. That means that the content presented to you needs to be in a format that communicates implicitly what’s going on, whether through images or objects or actions.  The guy who has championed this method the most is Stephen Krashen. He pointed out that “language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drills.”  He also argued that the best methods for teaching a language are those that give comprehensible input in low anxiety situations, with messages that students actually want to hear. It’s important not to force people to talk early in the second language, but allow students to start talking when they are ready. Students improve when you supply them with more communicative and comprehensible input, rather than forcing them to speak and then correcting them. As you’ll see in our videos, we incorporate all of this methodology, and students all over the world are finding that learning Hebrew is less frustrating and intimidating than they ever dreamed. You can read what some of them are saying here.

Say Goodbye to Anxiety

Another important principle of language learning that Krashen talks about is that there must not be any stress involved in the process. Once students feel threatened or on the defensive, a mental block goes up and prevents language acquisition from happening. The more students can feel at ease, encouraged, and believe that success is possible for them, the more language they’ll internalize. Until now, the main way for someone to learn Hebrew this way has been to study in Israel for a number of months or years. But we should keep in mind that culture shock, strange food, high cost of living, missing family back home, getting used to a new roommate, and having to navigate a new context in Modern Hebrew (in addition to biblical Hebrew in class) may all add up to significant stress, which in turn hinders the language learning process. Sometimes Bible translators from other countries struggle with life in Israel, not because of the quality of their program or care they receive from personnel, but simply because they have to adapt to so many new things at once and they miss their families.
So our question is, how can we best serve our brothers and sisters?  The answer is: give them the option to learn from the comfort of their own home. What could be less intimidating than free videos that you can rewind and repeat as much as you need, at your own pace? There are no other students who might laugh at your mistakes, no teacher who might occasionally run out of patience (I’ve been one!). You’re not worried about how the farm is back home, nor missing your spouse and kids. And if you do get the chance to travel to Israel, you’ll already have a good start in Hebrew to take full advantage of your time there! At the end of the day, we hope our videos will better serve the global Church and level the playing field so that everyone has an equal, stress-less opportunity to learn biblical Hebrew. And we invite others who teach this way to join us in making more comprehensible input content available for free!
We highly recommend watching the following three videos of Stephen Krashen himself explaining the science and theory of the method we use, as well as further principles for success in language acquisition. Although the video is dated, the content is still as relevant and helpful today as ever. For those of you who would prefer to listen to a podcast instead of watching videos, you can listen to Andrew’s two episodes on language-learning that includes Krashen’s teaching audio below and more.