In this article in Ravsak's HaYidion devoted to Hebrew Education, Prof. Luba Charlap discusses the advantages of online teaching of Hebrew as a foreign language. She illustrates these advantages as applied in MOFET Institutes Online Academy program, “Studies toward a Specialization Certificate in the Didactics of Teaching Hebrew as a Foreign Language.”
This online program is intended for the preparation of teachers of Hebrew as a Foreign Language in the Diaspora. The program operates in the framework of the “Online Academy” in The Mofet Institute’s International Channel, in which various programs on a range of fields of interest in teacher education are developed. The teacher population in the Diaspora as well as in various settings in Israel expressed a desire for implementing a program of teacher education in Hebrew as a Foreign / Second Language in the schools, colleges, and community ulpanim that would meet the needs of the teacher, wherever he may be.
The program includes basic courses (mandatory courses) and enrichment courses (elective courses), with the emphasis on both the field of knowledge and pedagogy. By fulfilling the course requirements, those who complete it are awarded a certificate, approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
She points out and illustrates three salient advantages that emerged during the teaching of the online courses in this program, and are capable of indicating the entire direction.
• Using the Internet space and multimedia tools
• Interaction in the forum setting
• Language teaching by means of advanced media tools
"The uniqueness of an online Hebrew-teaching program is not merely the “tool” aspect, that is, the learning setting and its inherent advantages. Innovation is attained by internalizing the pedagogic worldview that is expressed in this form of learning, and by taking judicious advantage of the resources offered by the Internet. Thus, online teaching of Hebrew as a foreign language is not merely a technological framework, but rather different teaching and another kind of learning."