Updated: Sep 14
Online learning is so last year... Here's why you should cut (online) class, and show up in person.
Summer 2022 in Tel Aviv was back to a pre-pandemic ‘normal.’ Birthright groups filled the streets, tourists enjoyed the market, and you could hear hardly any Hebrew on the beach in July and August!
Just as travel is back to normal post-pandemic, most people are returning to the office, and students to the classroom - all face-to-face.
Though we know that Zoom had many benefits (such as joining that unnecessary meeting from your couch in your pajamas), learning isn’t one of them.
One study showed that up to 50% of university students were unhappy with online learning, saying that "lack of engagement, less time overall in class, isolation from their peers, IT issues" were some of the problems with learning online.
Some ulpans are continuing their online learning due to its convenience. However, if you really want to be fluent in Hebrew, we advise that you don’t choose an online course.
Here are three reasons why learning a language is so much more effective face-to-face than on Zoom.
1. Free and open communication between the teacher and the student
In a classroom, you get to hear the teacher speak, see their mouth move, interrupt, answer questions and interact with your classmates. There’s something about Zoom - whether it be a bad connection, waiting your turn to speak, or the glitchy breakout rooms that can really
affect how you’re absorbing the content being taught - oh, and by the time it is your turn to speak… You’ve probably forgotten your question. At UAB, we believe that these immediate interactions are crucial for mastering Hebrew. If you want to learn Hebrew, the pauses that come with online learning holds you back from the true experience of speaking Hebrew כמו שצריך (like you should be).
2. Falling behind? Not if you’re face-to-face
Learning remotely can be a super isolating experience, and may present you with challenges if you’re struggling with some of the material. If you want some extra time with the teacher to go over something that's challenging, or perhaps if you want some more advanced content, this natural part of the learning process becomes disjointed and difficult to carr
y out when learning a language on Zoom. When you’re learning Hebrew, we believe it’s these small moments of critical face-to-face contact that can make or break your journey to fluency in Hebrew.
3. Lack of accountability
Have you heard of a psychological phenomenon called the Hawthorne effect? The theory goes that you behave differently when you’re being watched, just like you may focus a little harder when your team leader comes into your office.
When you’re studying at home alone, that lack of accountability will affect your progress. When you’re in a classroom with your teacher and your peers, the Hawthorne effect will have you studying harder, and engaging better than you would alone behind your computer screen.
So there you have it - three reasons why we believe it’s time to cut the virtual language courses, and to come back to class. At UAB, we’re fully back to face-to-face teaching, since it's proven to be the best way to teach you Hebrew.