Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For the love of the language

An 11-year old student has overcome the enigma of Hebrew letters in a short three weeks. At his lesson tonight, we read through Psalm 112, reading alternate lines. He corrected me once. Now here is a challenge - I wonder if anyone will respond: Can we develop a series of readings that will cover sufficient memorable vocabulary and be fun and inspiring to read so that at the end of 12 weeks of reading, we would have sufficient vocabulary and usage that grammar and forms would begin to appear before us?

This student is not afraid of memorizing rules. He clearly remembered a few rules from the sections of Putnam that he had read. But to push the University level reading any further would be a mistake at the moment. What is needed is short pithy exercises and translations - then a sorting of all the words and a shaking out of pronouns, prepositions, parsings and other paraphernalia of the language.

What do you think of using the acrostics for just such an exercise? How much vocabulary and grammar would fall from them after three months of reading? It works out to 2315 separate words - here they are. (Update - sorted by root maybe. Update 2 - sorted by psalm etc)

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