"The natural way".
Aמ on-line learning system of the Hebrew language
The method of Learning proposed here puts the accent on the spoken language and it is based on the linguistic conception of "the natural way", that is to say in accordance with the natural order of learning a language.
That is: to listen, to speak, to read and to write. We can see this order both in children’s idiomatic development and in the idiomatic - cultural development of the human civilization.
This system, with its didactic means, tries to "imitate' the natural order of the Learning of a language.
Because of the natural proximity between the stages of listening and speech, it is possible to speak about three differentiated stages:
1. To Listen - to speak (from now on to "speak”)
2. To read.
3. To write.
Supposedly the following stages of Learning are based each one on the next previous one, but at the same time, the later stage will be based and reinforced by the previous one.
Also we must point out, that in spite of the interrelation between the different stages, in the first steps of the study of a language, when we adopt the basic skills of reading and writing we must deal with every stage separately and centre on it, and this is due to the different qualities that are needed to Iearn to speak, to read or to write.
It is also important, in the first steps of Learning, not to exaggerate with the enrichment of words so as not to complicate the memory processes.
Instead of this it is advisable, to learn a small number of indispensable words and certain idiomatic basic patterns, which will serve us later us pattems to be filled' with the new vocabulary that will develop during the course of time.
To make the way of learning more effective, it is worthwhile to observe the specific qualities of every stage of learning and to, accordingly, adapt the didactic rules that are derived from these qualities.
The different characteristics of the three stages:
1. To Listen - to speak. The possibility of speech is a natural skill as is also the acquisition of a spoken language. It is to be supposed that any human being that finds itself in a new environment and its exposed to a new language that he does not know; will sooner or later acquire the skill of speaking this language. The natural language, by definition, is based on dialogue, on interpersonal relationships and on questions and answers.
Likewise we must notice that the one who learns to speak demonstrates a big skill of listening and remembering a relatively big number of sounds or words at the same time. The same way as it is easier to remember a short melody than to remember single notes, it is also sometimes easier to understand expressions or phrases than single words.
2. To read. the act of writing, according to all investigations, is a human invention. The act of writing is a graphic system of recognized signs, which in the course of human history represented ideas, objects, words, syllables or sounds. The language of writing, in parallel with the spoken language, is also used as a way of communication between persons, as long as they are far away one from other in space or in time. h contrast with the skill of the unified absorption of words and sounds in the spoken language, the rate of absorption in the language of the written signs is much narrower and the myth of reading a written text is generally picture to picture, that is to say a written word every time.
In accordance with the above mentioned the didactic system for the teaching of reading that is proposed here is in accordance with this order: general, particular, general, that is to say it begins with the visual absorption of a finished word, goes on to disarm the word in letters and finishes by rearming the word once again. On the other hand we must accept that a very convincing logic al so exists in the didactics that presents letters and syllables before it presents words, but to our way of seeing it, it is of great importance that the learning of the act of reading from its beginning be through the learning of well-known words, words which are understood and which have a meaning, learning that will bear in mind the laws of visual Learning - and so will not be only a mechanical learning.
3. To write. the skill of the writing is the technical aptitude to copy signs on paper. For this, of course, the student must be given a parallel system of signs which is called ‘cursive writing'; this system will facilitate the process of writing. Unlike the others stages of Learning that begin with a small phrase or word, this stage centers on Learning the letter or even only a part of it, and in the manual effort of copying them to the paper. h the course of time he will learn to write all the cursive letters through the union of straight and circular lines up to the moment that the act of writing turns to automatic.
Acquisition of the language through key questions:
Starting from the basics that dialogue is an essential of the spoken language, we propose the acquisition of language through question and answers, when
the questions are like "keys” or "doors” to the new language.
The study of the spoken language transpires by making use of all the interrogative words in accordance with a studied order, where each of these words is the center of a certain chapter in the course of our system of learning.
This system allows us "to embrace" all parts of the spoken language, as exemplified here:
Who? Pronouns, names, nick-names, professions, etc.
And this way successively with al interrogative words.
Every interrogative word and its answer create a basic linguistic pattern that will serve the student in the long um. All the interrogative words together create a circle of linguistic patterns that will become the basic infrastructure for the learning of a language.
During the course the circles will be extended by an increase of the vocabulary and of new linguistic forms, but the first circle will always remain the essential base. It is possible to say that with the acquisition of the "first circle" the student has received the keys to a new language.