Teaching Hebrew by Using the News on the Radio

There are many different ways of teaching Hebrew and there is no one “right” way. The best way to teach Hebrew is by combining various effective methods in order to master Hebrew writing, reading, speaking, and comprehension. There are good tools for each of these skills that you want to master. Reading books and doing exercises is good for reading and writing, for example. Hebrew comprehension is probably one of the hardest skills to master, however, and it, therefore, requires a lot of practice and attention.


One method of improving Hebrew language comprehension is by listening to the radio, specifically the news on the radio. In Ulpan, many teachers have their students (especially in the more advanced classes) listen to the news reports from the radio. In Israel, almost every radio station broadcasts a news summary on the hour. Due to the fact that not that much changes in the news each hour (hopefully!), often the broadcasts are virtually the same as they were the previous hour. Due to this repetitiveness, listening to the hourly news summary can be a very easy and useful tool for improving Hebrew language comprehension.


Often repetition can be boring. Reading the same sentence over and over again or listening to a song that you don’t particularly like on “repeat” is not always the most enjoyable thing. Using the hourly news summary as a tool for improving Hebrew comprehension is different, though. Because it is important to keep up on the news and most people are interested in what is going on, listening to this hourly news report can actually still be enjoyable even if it is repetitive. Over time, you will notice that there are certain words that repeat every day in the newscast, while new words are always being introduced, so it is a great way to strengthen your existing comprehension skills and vocabulary while always building and expanding, too!

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Test yourself - how well can you manage in Hebrew?

How do you read the name of the following letter?

Do you recognize all of the following letters?
א – ש – ד – ג – ץ – ף - ס

Which of the following letters is not a special "final letter"?

How do you read the following word?

Can you differentiate between the following words and do you know what each word means?
שֶׁמֶשׁ – שַׁמָשׁ

How do you read the following word?

Which of the following words is not plural?

Complete the sentence:
אני ________ את הספר על השולחן

The meaning of the Hebrew word שְׁלֵמִים is:

Complete the sentence:
אֲנִי אוֹהֶבֶת _________ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

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