Sunday, January 16, 2005

Beth Yehuda Vindicated!!

When Naomi was in nursery back in America she started learning the Hebrew alphabet. She enjoyed it a lot and was really learning the letters. However, we were quite perturbed that the pictures that they had associated with the letters only started with the sound in English not in Hebrew. For example, Tes (or tet for those of you with a sefardit pronounciation) had a picture of a toothbrush. (which does not start with a t sound in hebrew). Why couldn't Rabbi Davidson put a picture of items that start with a "ti" in Hebrew and then the kids would learn a little bit of Hebrew instead of just the letters. This way they are going to think that toothbrush is a hebrew word.

Fast forward two years....... (The above issue momentarily forgotten)
Golda offers to give a biweekly lesson in English to the first graders. The school doesn't start teaching them English until 4th grade, but we would like Naomi's friends to understand us before then. Golda found some worksheets on the Internet that had a picture of an Apple next to the letter A. I thought about it for a little bit and suggested that maybe she should have a picture of a watermelon instead. She said, "but watermelon doesn't start with A, don't you think that will confuse them?" I said when they look at an apple they see a tapuach which starts with the sound "ti". It would confuse them a lot more to show them a picture of an apple and expect them to learn both that the object is an apple as well as learn that apple makes the A sound. It is much easier to teach them ABCs by getting them to recognize an object that makes the sound. Avatiach (watermelon) is recognizable by the kids as making an A sound. It is easier to teach the letter A using the representation of a watermelon. Working on vocabulary is a different stream. Both are important, but mixing them together would only confuse the children.

I suddenly realized that Beth Yehuda had been doing exactly what I was suggesting. Because it only makes sense. Beth Yehuda has been vindicated.

1 comment:

Air Time said...

I cannot let any praise of Rabbi Davidson go by without a comment. He is a horrible little man who should not be legally permitted to be around children.

He should be in jail.