Page 120 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
workings.3 However, both indicated that the approach be used
only at the start in o rd e r to avoid the boredom o f the early
lessons and to develop a vocabulary on the basis o f which one
could then move on to a more efficient approach.
Ano ther e ffo rt to improve on the use o f translation may be
term ed the Reformed Translation Approach. It consists not o f
the translation o f individual words tha t are then combined into
sentences, but o f the translation o f en tire sentences and expres­
sions. The methods for applying this approach were developed
both in America and Israel.
In Boston, the educator Louis Hurwich (1886-1961) hoped
by this method to improve the results o f Hebrew instruction
in the afternoon school. T h e method involves the extensive use
o f games and activities.4 Each expression is used first in English
and then repeated in Hebrew until such time as the English
can be eliminated. The language material is drawn from class­
room situations and use is made o f songs, games, playlets and
stories. T h e results o f this method which was applied in the
thirties were surprisingly good. By the end o f the first year
the pupils had acquired over 500 words which they were able
to use freely in speaking and writing. In addition, they had
gained a large passive vocabulary. Hurwich repo rted that he
had used his method also in a camp situation, but despite this
it was not adopted.
In Israel, Eliezer Rieger introduced his innovations into the
Translation Approach th rough his “Jerusalem Method” (1953).5
He, too, suggested incorporating interesting and useful material
from the very first lesson by rendering Hebrew expressions and
sentences into English. Gradually, the English equivalents could
be eliminated. From the American army approach developed
du ring WWII Rieger adop ted the principle o f contrastive an ­
alysis in o rd e r to stress various grammatical forms and language
usages and to grade his material. T oge the r with Elchanan
Indelman he p repa red the textbook
Everyday Hebrew
(1954) for
the use o f English-speaking adults. Yet, at the time the book
did not receive the attention it deserved for its innovative as­
pects.
3. Chomsky, W.,
Teaching Hebrew
(New York: 1956), pp. 78-80.
4. Hurwich, L., “Hebrew Education Through Play
"Jewish Education,
Vol 10,
no. 1 (1938), pp. 35-40.
5. Rieger, E.
Modem Hebrew
(New York: 1953), pp. 145-146.