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Instructor gets up close and personal with a new online Hebrew courses

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Precisely 130 years after it was revived as a literary language, Hebrew has never been more relevant in the linguistic world, and Oregon State University’s Ecampus is embracing that notion with interactive and highly personal online courses.

Oregon State, which ranks in the top 25 colleges that administer online degrees according to, is offering three first-year Hebrew courses from instructor Yael Beged-Dov as a gateway into a language that is among the oldest and most unique in the world.

The courses are designed for newcomers to Hebrew with an interest in attaining foreign language credits, learning more about Israeli culture or more efficiently communicating with family members. And students interested in making the heritage trip with the charity group Taglit-Birthright Israel also will benefit greatly from the lessons learned in the OSU Ecampus Hebrew courses.

“The flexibility of the online format is the biggest benefit to students, and because it’s a distance-learning course, it’s very convenient for many of the students to not have to leave home in order to learn,” said Beged-Dov, who learned Hebrew as a child after her family immigrated to Israel from Morocco when she was 10. “In some ways, the classes move very much according to the student’s own pace.”

All course material is delivered through multimedia instruction, coupled with realistic learning objectives. Students will interact with classmates through online discussion boards and use a soundboard to learn how to pronounce letters and words in a language that was revived as Israel’s native tongue in 1881.

Debunking the myth that online courses are impersonal education platforms, the Hebrew courses from OSU Ecampus provide all students the opportunity to hone their skills with one-on-one Skype sessions with the instructor for two hours each week.

“Having that person there who can speak the language makes it feel as though you are with someone from another country,” Beged-Dov said. “When the students hear me speak for the first time, I think it gives the course more credibility because they are learning from someone who knows the language, lived in Israel, still goes there and speaks the language at home. It makes the class more real, more authentic.”

OSU Ecampus is offering a four-week summer session of Hebrew 111, a course that begins June 20. In the fall, Hebrew 111 and Hebrew 112 will again be available, and the university will unveil Hebrew 113 for more advanced speakers. Learn more and register online today on the OSU Ecampus Hebrew website.