Learn the Aleph א Bet ב
The full Parent’s guide to the Aleph Bet can be collected free of charge from the Campus Admin Office for anyone who would like. It takes you through the basics of the Aleph Bet and if followed correctly gives you the tools to be be able to decode Hebrew words independently.
The word shalom, often the first Hebrew word many people hear, means ‘peace’ and is used as a greeting.
Here are a few basic points to note before we look at the Hebrew letters themselves:
- Hebrew is read and written from right to left
- There are no capital letters
- There are twenty two letters in the Hebrew alphabet (aleph bet), two of which are used as vowels as well as consonants (י and ו)
- Five letters assume a different form when they appear at the end of a word
- Vowels are indicated by dots and dashes below and above the letters
- Vowels are mostly found in biblical texts such as the Chumash
- Most modern texts are ‘unpointed’ i.e. the vowel signs do not generally appear in written material such as in newspapers and signs
- There are two types of script; a square script widely referred to as ‘print’ and a more rounded cursive script referred to as ‘script’
- ‘Print’ is primary used for printed materials while ‘script’ is primarily used for handwriting
The Aleph Bet אָלֶף בֵּית
We are now going to look at the Hebrew alphabet. It may seem daunting at first, but if you go through it slowly it should soon make sense. The following chart includes the letter name, the printed and script forms of the letters and the pure sound the letters make.
There are various ways to remember the letters; one way is to look at the letter, read the corresponding transliteration and try to create an image to relate the two. In school we work with the children to introduce mnemonics such as ל (lamed) for lightening. This way makes it easier to quickly memorise the sounds the letters make. However, everyone learns differently! Pick a way that suits you.
We use the following videos found on YouTube to help the children remember the sounds.
Once the letters have been taught, at Brodetsky we use the Aleph Champ scheme as a tool to practise segmenting and blending Hebrew words.