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Why a Group Setting is Way Better Than a Tutor for Learning Hebrew

Discover the Benefits of Small Group Learning for New Immigrants to Israel

At UAB we often hear from new immigrants to Israel that they believe one-on-one teachers can help them learn Hebrew better than group settings. This belief stems from their experiences in many ulpanim in Israel, where classes often squeeze in 30-40 students, resulting in a non-homogeneous level of instruction and limited speaking opportunities. However, we believe in doing things differently. We have found that a group size of 6-10 students is ideal for learning a new language effectively. Here’s why small group settings outperform private tutoring:

1. Enhanced Interaction and Collaboration:

Small group learning fosters a collaborative environment where learners can engage in meaningful discussions, ask questions, and clarify doubts. This interaction is crucial for better understanding and retention of the language. According to research, the collaborative nature of small groups promotes deeper learning and retention compared to solitary study (UNSW Teaching Staff Gateway).

2. Development of Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills:

Small groups encourage learners to think critically and solve problems collectively. This diversity of thought leads to a richer understanding of the language as learners are exposed to different perspectives and approaches. Studies have shown that small group settings enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for language acquisition (BMC Medical Education).

3. Increased Motivation and Engagement:

The sense of community and support within small groups boosts learners' motivation and engagement. Adult learners, in particular, benefit from the supportive atmosphere that small groups provide, which can be lacking in one-on-one tutoring (BMC Medical Education).

4. Practical Application and Real-Life Scenarios:

Small group settings often incorporate role-plays, group discussions, and other interactive activities that simulate real-life scenarios. These practical applications are vital for language learning, as they allow learners to practice speaking and listening in varied and realistic contexts (Harvard Kennedy School).

5. Immediate Feedback and Reflective Learning:

In small groups, learners receive immediate feedback from peers and instructors, which is essential for correcting mistakes and improving language skills. This setup also encourages reflective thinking, where learners can evaluate their progress and identify areas for improvement (BMC Medical Education).

At UAB, we are committed to providing an optimal learning environment by maintaining small class sizes of 6-10 students. This approach ensures that every learner gets the attention and support they need to succeed in mastering Hebrew. By creating a conducive environment for interaction, collaboration, and practical application, we help new immigrants to Israel achieve their language learning goals effectively and efficiently.

By embracing small group learning, we can provide a more effective and enriching language learning experience for new immigrants to Israel.

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