Hebrew Bible-Driven Immersion in Bible OL

Biblical Hebrew Immersion can be practiced in many ways. It usually means that students without knowledge of Ivrith learn to read and speak conversational Ivrith for use in Biblical Hebrew. For Ivrith speaking students immersion may mean to unlearn some conversational habits in order to dive into the language system of the Hebrew Bible. But in practice, for me personally and for many other students, immersion has meant to learn basic Biblical Hebrew outside Israel and attain mastery of Biblical Hebrew through Ulpan and academic studies in Israel. In this paper I will argue that Bible Online Leaner (https://bibleol.3bmoodle.dk/) can effectively help most students to practice immersion driven by the Hebrew text. This technology uses a corpus of the Hebrew Bible (the ETCBC database) for task-based language learning, serving as a persuasive tutor, trainer and tracker of inquiry and practice. It can optimize the early stages of the learning processes and gradually take learners deeper into the text and prepare for conversation in class and communication in Israel. The paper will share results from the development of My Biblical Hebrew (http://mbh.bibleol.3bmoodle.dk/). Informed by 10 years of research and development, in the Fall of 2018 15 students will participate in a flipped classroom designed for peer-based blended and online learning in Copenhagen, Tanzania, Cambodia and elsewhere. After some 500 hours of learning some of these students will go to Israel to practice cultural immersion, reading and interpretation in a live setting in January 2019. The new approach will test an integration of Bible OL with Paradigms Master Pro https://paradigmsmasterpro.com/. The basics of Biblical Hebrew is learned through thousands of small discrete tasks for practice, created by the text for interactive training and supported by paradigm practice. Bible OL gives instant feedback on accuracy and speed and plots their progress. Facilitators can compare their performance with other learners and gently guide and encourage learners into more effective learning. This presentation will also discuss the use of Moodle, video, auto-correct exercises, and the attempt to stimulate a living-language style classroom through chapter 1 of the Book of Jonah. Examples will cover data on effective reading, vocabulary acquisition and learning of the Hebrew verb. The development of this new course will be informed by the cultural immersion approach of Paul Overland. Reading will be enhanced by the use of a proficiency corpus using vocabulary occurring 50 times in the Hebrew Bible.